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.