Axatse or Shekere

This gourd shaker is traditionally known as the axatse (ah-HOT-say) in Ghana, and is also known more generically as the shekere (SHEH-kuh-ray). Each dry, hollow calabash is hand selected for thickness and proportion, then dressed with a lattice work of Jobs Tear Seeds.The sizes range from the extra-small 3″-6-8″,small, medium, large, and extra-large at 8-10″-10-12″.


Audio Sample : Axatse Shekere 8×15.mp3

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Product Description

This gourd shaker is traditionally known as the axatse (ah-HOT-say) in Ghana, and is also known more generically as the shekere (SHEH-kuh-ray). Each dry, hollow calabash is hand selected for thickness and proportion, then dressed with a lattice work of Jobs Tear Seeds. The axatse can be played like a maraca, by gently tugging on the blue rope ends, by swirling or twisting the seed net, or with more intricate double handed techniques. The axatse differs from the Afro-Cuban shekere in that it is smaller and does not produce a bass note when the top of the gourd is struck. All African Heartwood Project axatse feature:

  • strong gourd body and handle, hollow and dried
  • whole natural seed beads intricately labyrinthed in web of bright blue string
  • rubber strip at the neck keeps seeds and string from coming loose or sliding up the gourd
  • long handle on gourd for easy handling and full control
  • The purchase of this product sustains livelihoods for cultural artisans in West Africa.

Sizes & Prices

Model Size Description Retail Price (USD)
AXA3 +/- 3"X6-8" Extra small Axatse Shekere $15
AXA4 +/- 4" X 7-9" Small Axatse Shekere $17
AXA6 +/- 6"X12" Medium Axatse Shekere $30
AXA8 +/- 8"X15" Large Axatse Shekere $44
AXA13 8-10"x10-12" Extra large Axatse Shekere $60

Artists

Africa Heartwood Drum & Dance Ensemble

Artisans