This gourd shaker is traditionally known as the axatse (ah-HA-chay) in Ghana, but 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 extra large axatse is played by gently tugging on the blue rope ends, by swirling or twisting the seed net, or with more intricate double handed techniques.
All Africa Heartwood Project axatse feature:
- Strong gourd body is hollow and dried
- Helpful carrying rope.
- 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
- After import from Africa, each instrument is cleaned, inspected, tuned, and played individually to check sound and quality.
- Hand crafted in Africa by village cultural artisans supported by the non-profit Africa Heartwood Project.