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date: 06 December 2019

Guasá [guazá]locked

  • J. Richard Haefer



Vessel rattle of the Pacific coastal region of Colombia. It is a cane tube 40 to 60 cm long and about 9 cm in diameter that contains loose seeds, stones, or nails. One end of the tube is closed by the natural septum and the other is plugged with a smaller piece of cane or balsa wood. Eight to ten needles of chonta (palm wood) are inserted equidistantly at right angles through the wall of the cane from end to end; these modify the sound of the rattling elements by interrupting their movement. The instrument is shaken horizontally or vertically and is played with bombos in the conjunto de marimba (‘marimba ensemble’). Modern commercial rattles like this are called ‘rain sticks’.

The similar guacho of the Colombian Atlantic coastal region is traditionally made of bamboo with needles inserted, but more recently tin ones without the needles are just filled with dried seeds. Both are comparable to the ...

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