Ghana Kashaka (Aslatua, Kashaka, Cas Cas) African Percussion Instrument

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These African kashaka (aslatua) are hand made in Ghana from natural Swawa gourds. A kashaka is a unique hand percussion instrument that can produce interesting polyrhythms and is fascinating to play. You can play with one set or with two (one set per hand). This simple instrument (also known as aslato, kashaka, cascas, televi, kasso-kassoni, and more) is played by holding one gourd in the palm while simultaneously shaking and swinging the second gourd. The gourds come from the Swawa tree in West Africa, which are dried, hollowed, filled with pebbles, and connected with a string. You'll have hours of fun playing with this traditional African instrument. They make a great gift for any percussion enthusiast.

Price is for one set (ie. two gourds and one cord). 

Note: I no longer have sufficient stock to provide matched pairs. If you order 2 sets, the string lengths and gourd sizes will not match. 


Sets are picked at random but if you have a preference for small, medium or large gourds please email me after placing your order.


Please note that these kashaka will suffer wear during play. The gourds will chip and crack. This is normal wear and tear and is not covered by any warranty. They are made from natural gourds which are not indestructible! No warranty is offered for breakages occurring during use.

Material: Swawa Gourd/String

Dimensions: size varies from 1.5" to 2.5" gourds connected by 6" of string (approx.)

Weight: varies from approx 32g to 46g.

Country of Origin: Ghana

Sound: both the shaken and the percussive sound are much louder than the cheaper wooden shell kashaka. The shaken sound is noticeably different, like the filling is made from larger material. The shells of the gourds seem thicker, giving a louder, more satisfying and slightly lower pitched click when the gourds hit.

Weight: heavier and with a more solid ‘substantial’ feel than the wooden shell design

Construction: These have a lovely organic feel. Two small, strong Swawa gourds are filled with tiny pebbles. Being natural Swawa gourds the size, shape and colour of each gourd varies, as does the weight. The diameter of the gourds will also vary. The size is nice - they fit well in your hands. Note the gourds have a nice slightly pointed shape as can be seen in the photos.  The thick cord is glued into the hole. The cord length varies. 

How to resize the aslatua string to fit your hand

1. Release the string from one pod by carefully removing with a sharp object the glue around the gourd plug holding the string in place.

2. Set the string at the length you desire to fit your hand and place the gourd plug back into place. You should be able to fit two fingers of the non-playing hand between the string wrapping over the top of the knuckles and the knuckles of the playing hand.

3. Secure the plug and string in place with wood glue, tacky craft glue, or super glue. Allow sufficient time to dry.

4. Play!

About Kashaka
A Kashaka is a traditional poly rhythmic percussion instrument from Africa. It is also known as Patica (Japan), Kosika (USA), Asalato, Aslatua, Kes Kes, Cas Cas, Tchangot Tche. Kashaka are traditionally made from two hollow percussive gourds filled with seeds, shells etc to give a rattle or shaking sound similar to a maraca. Kashaka make a shaking and clacking sound when played. Kashaka are played by slinging them from between the fingers and can be played individually or (with one in each hand) as a pair. This is hard to explain and best shown by watching a video like the two handed kashaka demonstration below (note how the player is using natural gourd kashaka). © Copyright 2019

Returns will not be accepted for kashaka broken or damaged during play. They may crack or break during use, this is normal wear and tear. These African kashaka are made from natural gourds which are not indestructible! No warranty is offered for breakages occurring during use.

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