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Maracas (also known as rumba shakers and, in Trinidad, shac-shacs) have their origins in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala and are also associated with several nations in the Caribbean Islands. Clay maracas have been found that were used by the natives of Colombia some 1500 years ago. Maracas are a simple percussion instrument that are usually played in pairs.
Maracas are made of dried calabash or gourd shell or coconut shell filled with seeds or dried beans and, like the caxixi, are shaken to produce sound. They may also be made of leather, wood and plastic. Often one maraca ball is pitched high and the other is pitched low.