Originating in West Africa, Kashakas are percussive instruments used to create both shaking and “click-clack” sounds by swinging two bean-filled balls around the hand so they tap each other in a rhythmic pattern. In this fun, hands-on workshop, you will learn how to build and play your very own Kashaka!
Kashakas create both shaking sounds and percussive clicks by swinging the balls around the hand so that they tap each other. Learning to catch the Kashaka can be difficult at first, but this enables a much larger variety of rhythms to be created. Also, as players' hands are different sizes, it is important to play a Kashaka of the right size, as it makes learning how to play and master different rhythms much easier. When a Kashaka is played in each hand by an experienced player, polymeters can be produced by playing two different rhythms with different time signatures.
Kashakas are considered a toy by some, and a percussion instrument by most. They are also considered to be a skill-development tool that can help improve dexterity, ambidexterity, brain hemispheric synchronization, and even develop the ability to multitask. Kashakas can also build muscle mass and improve flexibility in the hands, arms, shoulders and chest. Kashakas are even considered to be a meditative tool that can create a trance-like state, promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
The Kashaka originated in West Africa, but has been reproduced in various countries under different names, such as Patica (Japan), Kosika (USA), Asalato, Kes Kes, Tchangot Tche, and many others.
Making a Kashaka is a great project for all ages, but an adult should be available to assist with one step that involves cutting.