Maracas, sometimes called rumba shakers are a native instrument of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala and several nations of the Caribbean and Latin America. They are simple percussion instruments (idiophones), usually played in pairs, consisting of a dried calabash or gourd shell (cuia "cue-ya") or coconut shell filled with seeds or dried beans. They may also be made of leather, wood, or plastic.
Although a simple instrument, the method of playing the maracas is not obvious. The seeds must travel some distance before they hit the leather, wood, or plastic, so the player must anticipate the rhythm. One can also strike the maraca against one's hand or leg to get a different sound.
Maracas are often played at celebrations and special events. In rock and roll, they are probably most identified with Bo Diddley,who wrote the song "Bring it to Jerome" about his maraca player, Jerome Green.
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