Two days before Christmas, I received a package by way of El Paso, Texas.  The return address did not include a name, so my curiosity was piqued. Without any ‘do not open until Xmas’ notices, I felt inexorably justified in satisfying my ‘need to know’ basis  😉 .

When I opened the box, everything made sense.  I had received a nice card and a gift from a friend and respected music therapy colleague!   She had recently taken a trip to Colombia.   I saw these!

I thought back to our conversations, and I remembered us talking briefly about percussion instruments from the area.  I think I mentioned being really interested in finding some traditional “maracas” of the region, those found in Colombia and Venezuela.   Needless to say, I was really honored and thankful to have received these Capachos! Capachos are one name for this particular type of ‘maracas’ common to Llanera (harp) music, also known as stylistically as Joropo music.  Capachos are named after the type of gourd used to make them.

Here are a few videos that will give you another way to look at playing maracas/capachos.  Some of these techniques will easily work with maracas, egg shakers, and other types of shakers.  I know I’m going to enjoy some new musical possibilities!

Joropo video #1

Joropo video #2

Joropo video #3