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HOW TO MAKE A CAXIXI

Posted on 17 April 2008 by chan

caxixipic

This is a way I was taught on how to make a caxixi.
I am by no means a professional, but at least this is one way, and you can develop/discover other ways from here. Or simply ask your Capoeira instructor how! The best thing you can do is follow this tutorial, have an already made caxixi next to you and work it out!

caxixiutencils

WHAT YOU NEED:

1. Reed/Wicker/Rattan Skin/Basketweave
2. Dried Gourd Shell at least 12cm-12cm in surface area.
3. A screw driver or scissors
4. Rough Sandpaper
5. A bucket half filled with luke warm water
6. Varnish (preferrably marine grade)
7. Some seeds (preferrably pau brasil seeds or beads if cannot source good seeds)
8. Stanley Knife

soak the reed

STEP 1.
Soak the weave in the bucket of water for 10 minutes or so, it can sit in their for a while so don’t get paranoid if you leave it in their for a long time.
If you are finding it hard to find wicker/reed/basketweave, try looking in:
Florist/Decoration Shops, Garden Shops, Arts/Crafts Shops, or Cane Furniture Shops.

STEP 2.
Cut out a large piece of gourd using your stanley knife. Preferably a little bigger than you think you’ll need.

make holes

STEP 3.
Make 7,9,or 11 holes in it using your screw driver or scissors. Make sure the holes are not too close to the edge, sometimes the gourd piece will crack and you don’t want that. It must be an odd number, as when you weave the reed around it has to be one in and one out to keep the basket closed. ( you’ll understand what I mean later).

weave through base

STEP 4.
Make sure you have the inside of the gourd on the bottom of the caxixi before you start, do not have the piece of gourd dipping down, or else your caxixi will look really wierd and saggy. Begin to weave a peice of reed through the holes, trying to weave each piece evenly.

weaved through the base

STEP 5.
The last hole, you have to weave it through double. If you have this piece a little longer as well, you can fold it back and use that piece as the handle later on.

weaving

weave on the inside

STEP 6.
Begin to weave the basket. Start so that the reed is on the inside first, so that the end does not pop out. Try and keep the weave tight without gaps or holes, and try and push it down so that the weave is flush with the gourd.
Note: It gets easier the higher you get with the weave, initially the structure is not their so it is harder to weave. You can tie all the strands up the top to make it easier to maintain its shape but it isn’t necessary.

weave end inside

STEP 7.
When you get to the end of your first reed strand, make sure you end it facing in, otherwise it will create a gap. Make sure that each layer going up is alternate to the last. This is to keep the shape/pattern and strength.

top caxixi

STEP 8.
Once you get to a reasonable height you can put some seeds/beads into the caxixi. You begin to close it off and create the handle. To close it off you just weave the strands of reed from one side to the other, and back through the weave. You get smaller pieces of reed and weave extra bits into the top to close it off.

handle

STEP 9.
The Extra long bits you made at the start, weave it through the other side, and get another peice of reed and wrap it tight around the handle strand to make the handle thicker. Tuck it in the start and at the end.

STEP 10.
Sand the edges of the gourd to make the base round. Varnish the whole thing once it has dried. Once the varnish has dried you have made your first Caxixi!!!!

caxixi

From my understanding, deeper sounding Caxixi’s should go with higher pitched Berimbau’s, for higher pitched Caxixi’s they should go with lower pitched Berimbau’s.

Feel free to ask any questions or provide more comments! and Good Luck!

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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Ramsay Says:

    Awesome article Chan! A lot of hard work went in to this I can tell.

    What is traditionally put inside the caxixi; seeds or something else?

    Ramsay

  2. Pipoca Says:

    Great article! I might have to try this one day!

  3. Johnny Burgess Says:

    Hey great info I have a couple of questions. I have all of the tools I just need to understand the order of weaving it.
    1. During step 4 & 5, am I using one long strand? And Do I pull strand thru hole in and out motion?

    2. During step 6 do I grab another piece to start weaving or do I use the same strand from beginning?

    Them are the only steps that I’m not sure about the rest I can figure out.

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Photos

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