The Chacapa - or leaf rattle - is a percussion instrument that consists of a bunch of dried leaves tied together.
The Tradition of Chacapas
Chacapas (or chakapa or shakapa) are traditional instruments used by many indigenous groups in the Andes and Amazon regions of South America, played in their traditional festivals, accompanied by music and dance. But they are not only used to play rhythmic patterns, they also serve as an object for religious rituals, especially in purification ceremonies and some divination rituals. They are often associated with shamanic practices and used for healing rituals or for calling upon spirits - then used by a shaman. The use of Chacapa dates back to pre-Hispanic times, and continues to be used today in many different forms.
Types of Chacapas
There are two main types of Chacapas: ones made from just one leaf, and those that are a bunch of leaves tied together. The single leaf version is called the chacapa monofilamento and is usually made from the quena plant (Calanthe sp.). The bunch version is called the chacapa multifilamento, and it’s usually made from the chamal de quina (Calanthe sp.) plant.
Chacapas you can buy in our shop
In our shop we sell bunch type Chacapas hand-made in Europe from domestic plants such as maple, oak and eucalyptus leaves and reeds. They are a natural, ecological and sustainable product.
How are Chacapas played and how do they sound?
Chacapas are very easy to play and can be used by musicians of all levels. You can shake them, strike them together or even rub them against your body. The sound produced by chacapas is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. They are also a great alternative to playing maracas, as they can be used in many different ways. The sound is very organic and has a slightly haunting quality, which makes it perfect for adding an extra layer of expression to your Music.