Chacapa – also known as Shakapa, Chakapa, Chacarpa or Huaira Sacha – is the name of a ritual leave rattle, which is being used during healing rituals in the Amazon area apart from shaman drums, rattles, musical bows, feather fronds, tobacco, and songs.
Our Chacapa is being produced in Slovakia, so is almost a regional product, and consists of bundled leaves of reed. These can only be harvested in summer, which is why our reed Chacapa is only available seasonally.
Its sound resembles the percussion brush, which is commonly used in jazz music and more often than not is being played on the snare drums. It generates a rustling sound that is also typical for the Chacapa. The sound of this ritual instrument unfolds in an etheric and intensive manner, which enables creative improvisations and fancy performances.
Even during healing sessions or sound therapy our Chacapas can be used. Since their sound reminds one of the rustling of the mighty trees in the rainbow forest and its movements let the air circulate in a gently manner they contain the “wind of the jungle”. That’s why the bundled leaves are particularly suitable for wind and air rituals. Steady beating and shaking generates a rhythm that supports trance journeys and can be used with energetic massages and sweat lodge ceremonies.
Traditionally, Curanderos – shaman healers – are using the Chacapa during their treatment session such as the Ayahuasca, Kampô, and San Pedro cactus ceremonies. In the rainbow forest of the Amazon, where those rituals are wide-spread among different tribes, this ritual instrument is usually made of various plant leaves. The Curandero shakes the bundle of leaves in different rhythms or touches the body of the person in treatment. By evoking the wind-like rustles the spirits are being summoned. They help the healer during the harmonising cleansing, i.e. the physical, mental and spiritual healing process.