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Single Seed Woven Caxixi – African Basket Shaker from Africa Heartwood Project

Single Seed Woven Caxixi – African Basket Shaker from Africa Heartwood Project

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The Single Seed Woven Caxixi is a remarkable musical instrument that originates from Africa. Handcrafted by skilled artisans from Africa Heartwood Project, this African basket shaker is not only a beautiful piece of art but also holds cultural significance.

History and Construction

The Single Seed Woven Caxixi has a rich history that dates back centuries. It is believed to have originated in West Africa and was traditionally used by various tribes during ceremonies and celebrations. The instrument is made from natural materials such as woven grass or reeds, with a hollowed-out gourd or calabash as the base. The top of the gourd is covered with a tightly woven lid, creating a resonating chamber. Inside the chamber, a single seed or small pebble is placed, producing a unique sound when shaken.

Materials Used

The artisans at Africa Heartwood Project carefully select the finest natural materials for crafting the Single Seed Woven Caxixi. The basket is woven using durable grass or reeds, ensuring its longevity. The gourd or calabash used for the base is meticulously cleaned and dried to create a sturdy and resonant chamber. The lid is woven with intricate patterns, showcasing the skill and creativity of the artisans.

Artisanal Techniques

The process of creating the Single Seed Woven Caxixi involves a combination of traditional and modern techniques. The artisans skillfully weave the grass or reeds into intricate patterns, ensuring the basket’s strength and durability. The gourd or calabash is carefully hollowed out and dried, preserving its natural shape and resonance. The lid is woven with precision, allowing for optimal sound production.

Significance and Cultural Importance

The Single Seed Woven Caxixi holds great cultural importance in African communities. It is often used in traditional music and dance performances, adding a rhythmic element to the music. The instrument’s unique sound is believed to have spiritual qualities, connecting the performer and the audience to their ancestors and the natural world. It is also used as a tool for communication, signaling important events or gatherings within the community.

Common Uses

The Single Seed Woven Caxixi is a versatile instrument that can be used in various musical genres and settings. It is commonly used in African drumming ensembles, adding a melodic and percussive element to the music. It is also popular in contemporary music, with musicians incorporating its unique sound into their compositions. Additionally, the instrument is often used in educational settings to teach rhythm and coordination.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: How do I play the Single Seed Woven Caxixi?
  2. A: Hold the instrument in one hand and shake it gently, allowing the seed or pebble inside to create a rhythmic sound. Experiment with different shaking techniques to produce various tones and rhythms.

  3. Q: Can the Single Seed Woven Caxixi be customized?
  4. A: Yes, Africa Heartwood Project offers customization options for the Single Seed Woven Caxixi. You can choose the color and pattern of the woven lid, creating a unique instrument that reflects your personal style.

  5. Q: Is the Single Seed Woven Caxixi ethically sourced?
  6. A: Yes, Africa Heartwood Project works directly with artisans in Africa, ensuring fair wages and sustainable practices. By purchasing the Single Seed Woven Caxixi, you are supporting the livelihoods of these talented artisans.


The Single Seed Woven Caxixi is not just a musical instrument; it is a symbol of African culture and craftsmanship. Handcrafted with care and precision, this African basket shaker carries the rich history and traditions of the continent. Whether you are a musician, collector, or simply appreciate the beauty of African art, the Single Seed Woven Caxixi is a must-have addition to your collection.

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