How To
Mode D'Emploi
Nii Tettey Tetteh


African Shaky Egg
Aoka (Côte D'Ivoire)
Asalato (Japan)

Asarato (Japan)
Aslato (Ghana - Ga)
Aslatua (Ghana - Twi / Ashanti)
Bakayo (Gambia)

Banakula (USA)
Ball Shakers (USA) Boogiballs

Cas-Cas Shaker
Cha Cha (Cameroon)
Click-Clack-Calabash Rattle
Dopplerassel (Germany)

Kash Kasha (Sudan)
(Canada, Global) Kassang Kassang (Senegal-Djola)
Kasskass (France)

Kasso Kasso (Mali)
Kasso Kassoni (Mali)



Kesskess (France)

Kissen Kissen (France) Kiseng Kiseng (Senegal)

Kitikpo (Ghana-Ewe)
Koko Rattle
Kosika (USA)

Kosso Kossoni (Mali)

Kpon Kpon (Ghana-in the street)
N'chakala (Indonesia?)
Patica (Japan)
Petit Balafon (Burkina Fasso)
Po Po (Ghana-in the street)
Shak Shaka (Sudan)
Shake Shake (Sierra Leone)
Salicaba (Gambia-Sonike)
Salogoba (Gambia-Malinke)
Sympatika (USA)

Televi (USA, Ghana-Ewe)
Terebi (Japan)
Thelevi (Togo)
Twin Ball Rattle



Kashakas originate in West Africa, where they are known by a large variety of names. Many of the names are onomatopoeic, which means the name is derived from the sound you get when using the shaker.

Others are named after the gourd, which comes from the Swawa tree (which is also known by many other names, such as the Fried Egg Tree - the flower that produces the gourd looks like a fried egg from a distance).

Why do some countries have several names? Sometimes there are many different tribes, or unique cultural groups, that live in the same country. This is one of the legacies of colonialism. Each group may speak their own unique language or dialect, and have their own name for Kashaka. Sometimes the city name is different from the name used in the countryside.

Ghana is a good example of all the variety out there: so far we've heard of 6 different names used in this country alone! In the streets of Accra, the capital, Kashakas are often called Kpon Kpon, or Po Po. Ghana has many cultural groups throughout the country, and all of them are represented in Accra.

The Ewe people call Kashaka both Televi and Kitikpo (depending on whom you speak with), whereas the Ga people call them Aslato. Aslato is a combination of two Ga words that mean "snuff container", which was the original use for the gourds over a century ago.

The Twi and Ashanti peoples use a similar word, called the Aslatua.

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Kashakas are now very popular in Japan, where they are known by several names, including Asalato, Asarato and Patica. Because of the similarities of the first two names to Aslato, it is likely that the shaker was first popularized by a percussionist from Ghana who travelled to Japan, or from Japanese tourists who brought them back from Ghana. I believe the former is the most likely explanation, as the Japanese are such fans of percussion, they are known to sponsor percussionists and drumming ensembles, especially from Africa, to visit and tour their country.
Please Note: Many of these words are spelled phonetically. If you know of any corrections that should be made, any more names, or know any of the missing countries of origin, please email us the information at

Searching for YouTube videos:
One of the reasons for coming up with this list was to help people who were searching for teaching resources online. When I created my website,, in 2001, YouTube didn't yet exist. I wanted others who had found this instrument to be able to find my website to learn how to play them, so I added this page to my website. Today, knowing a variety of names for Kashakas will help you find a greater number of instructional and performance videos on YouTube. If you find any videos you think other Kashaka players will enjoy, please consider sharing them with the Kashaka Asalato Aslatua Aslato Patica Thelevi Players Group ( Thanks!

Do you know anything we don't?

We're always interested in anything and everything Kashaka-related, especially if it's news to us. If you have anything you'd like to share, please email us or visit out Comments page, and you'll find easy to fill in forms.

If you want any Kashaka news from us, you can leave you email address (just make sure you check the box that asks for your permission to email you).

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