Musical Shaker: $15.00

Purchase a set of 2 shakers for a discount!



Product Weight: 0.2 lbs

Product Style Number: HM/x/M/x

at a glance

  • Musical shakers are made from dried gourds and local wood.

  • Purchase a set of musical shakers for a discount!

  • The holes in the shaker are created using a red-hot metal tool. (Check out the photos!)

  • Musical shakers vary in size and shape because they are made of natural, home-grown gourds.

  • On average, musical shakers measure 2.5”-3.5” in diameter and 8”-10” in length.  Sold individually.

  • Musical shakers are not intended to be children’s toys.

a closer look

Our musical shakers are hand crafted from natural dried gourds and local wood.  They are made by a craftswoman, Petronille Uwimana, who has over 20 years of experience.  Select shakers have also been made by Paul Nzabonimpaye, who passed away in 2011.  His legacy lives on in his craft as well as in his son Hezekiah, who Paul trained up as a woodcarver.

How does Petronille make her musical shakers?  Once her gourds are grown, harvested, hollowed and dried, the art can begin.  Petronille takes her specially-made tools and heats them to red-hot in a charcoal fire.  Then she carefully pushes the hot metal rod through the dried gourd, forming a pattern with each small hole that is created.  She has to be careful to make enough holes to bring out her design and create a good shaker sound, but not so many that the gourd becomes weak.  Petronille then carves the shaker handle from a branch of a local tree, creating a simple design with black paint over the engraved wood.  She fills the gourd with a handful of flower seeds, glues on the handle, and voila- a musical shaker has been born.

Please note that our musical shakers are not intended to be children’s toys.

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made by:

Petronille Uwimana

  • Petronille Uwimana is a mother of 4 and grandmother of 9.

  • She learned to craft musical shakers in 1990 from a neighbor.

  • Petronille uses gourds grown in her garden to make her shakers.

  • In the future, Petronille would like to earn enough money from her craft to purchase a second cow.

  • Petronille is involved in the local pentacostal church and sings in the choir.

Paul Nzabonimpaye’s son, Hezekiah Kwihangana

  • We are sad to share that Paul passed away suddenly in his home on October 13, 2011.

  • Paul had over 40 years experience in woodcarving.

  • Wooden birds, carved gift boxes, and natural gourd rattles were Paul’s specialty.

  • Paul’s birds were carved primarily from the wood of the Jacaranda tree.

  • Paul passed on his wood carving skills to his son Hezekiah, who is the 6th of Paul’s 7 children.


made in:

Muhanga District

  • Population – 307,501
  • Size of District – 648 km2, or 250 miles2
  • Main work – Agriculture (coffee, cassava, vegetables and cereals)
  • Official District Website: