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Make a Red Gourd Shakere
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Make a “Snake” with Cowrie Shells Gourd Shekere

  1. Put an Image on the Gourd

  2. Drill the Cowrie Shell Beads

  3. Knot on Shell Beads (Noise makers)

  4. Cut Bottom Hole Add Knots, Perform Winter Solstice Rituals

  5. Add Feathers

  6. It Flies

A Foraged Foxtail
 : Knotting on the Noise Making Cowrie Shells Shekere Beads :

The net for the shekere has to be loose enough to give the beads plenty of play, but it has to be so made as to not come off. The first step is to make the ring the rest of the twine netting will attach to - you need a top ring and a bottom ring of the same size. It should be big enough to go over the gourd handle, but not thick enough to go over the wider body. I made a loop around once and knotted it with a a doulbe half hitch, then continue around a second time to have a two strand ring. Then I made an identical ring for the bottom. Then I set out my shells. I'd need 12 white money cowries for the top and bottom rows and 6 snakehead cowries for the middle row.
white money cowrie shells
I hung six two strand lines from the top ring with a hanging hitch. I hung the ring on the gourd and began a row of white money cowrie shells (six all the way around by taking one strand from one hanging pairs and another from its neighbor. Here is the first one. Spread out and hanging on the gourd.
start of cowrie shell net
cowrie shell net - started, on gourd
I added the first row, first knotting at the hold at the top of the cowrie shell, then at the bottom.
adding more shells to the net
To go to the second roo, I again split pairs of strands, using one strand from one shell in the first row, and another from it's neighbor to make a net pattern. On the top ring I only made two rows. It was then completed. Somewhere between the first and second row, Ikey got ahold of the gourd and the long stem became much shorter. It seems to work better this way.
two rows of shells, top ring completed.

The bottom row already had its six hanging double strands. For a better idea, I knotted the neighboring strands first before adding the bead. This made it much more even and I will use that technique the next time. I hung the bottom ring from the neck, setting aside the top ring to get good spacing.
two rows of shells, top ring completed.

When the bottom row of white money cowrie beads was finished I needed to attach the two rings. I had a double strand from each of the bottom pairs and I separated them, continuing the net patter to the pairs haning dow from the bottom of the row of brown snakehead cowrie shells.
two rows of shells, top ring completed.
I left the twine long. I sort of thought I was done at this stage. I played it and it was really LOUD. I liked it.

 : Links/Sponsors :

Make a Shakere is sponsored by Fertility Futures, a firm focused on helping make families possible. Many would be parents are unable to realize their dreams of a family with children due to fertility issues. Fertility Futures brings medical specialists and counselors to bear on these difficult problems, helping couples with a range of solutions from fertility therapy through the use of surrogates to carry a child through pregancy for a family. In order to support this service, Fertility Futures also solicits egg donors for its ova donation program. People who face challenges in becoming parents, or healthy women who are willing to become egg donors should consider visiting Fertility Futures.

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