The Shak Shak or the maracas is a well-known musical instrument in Grenada. It can be seen in use alongside drums, steelpan or guitars.
The Shak Shak is made from hollow gourds or small calabashes. Inside of the Shak Shak are dried seeds. The Shak Shak has a short wooden handle. It is sometimes painted or it can be unpainted.
The Shak Shak has a distinct sound. Typically, two Shak Shaks are used together to make a complementary sound. On rare occasions, only one Shak Shak is used.
Where can be seen:
The Shak Shak can be seen in use on these occasions:
Parang festival - Shak Shak can be used alongside string band instruments played by Parang bands on the sister isles of Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Church choirs - Shak Shak are used as a musical instrument by church choirs, regardless of the religion.
Steelpan orchestras - The Shak Shak forms part of the musical instruments of the steelpan orchestra. There is usually one player in the back of the orchestra, playing a Shak Shak.
Young children can have a toy Shak Shak to play with in the formative years.
Source: The Shak-Shak in the Lesser Antilles by Daniel Crawford
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