Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

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Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby pulse » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:08 am

Can anyone tell me if Pan Con Queso maracas are stitched with clear monofilement (single strand) thread, basically fishing line? The Pan Con Queso Youtube channel has a video of Pablo Landaeta making Pan Con Queso maracas, where it looks to me like he is stitching the rawhide with fishing line, judging by the appearance of the line and spool shape:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP1ckjbDXMg

I don't understand Spanish unfortunately, but I can see the video description says the maracas are sewn with nylon, which is the material monofilement line is normally made of. In photos of Pan Con Queso maracas and others as well, it also look to me like monofilement line is used.

I'll need to re-stich some old rawhide maracas of unkown manufacture after I refill them with capacho seeds and reassemble with threaded inserts to facilitate future disassembly, which will probably be needed to determine how much fill works best if nothing else. It's impossible to remove the nails used to attach the rawhide to the handles, without either damaging the leather and handles, or removing the stitching, and the later seems the best option. Not that hard to figure out what stitching materials might work, but after finding the Pan Con Queso video I naturally want to use the same methods when possible.

The existing fill in my maracas is royal poinciana/flamboyant tree/flame tree/delonix regia seeds, which I am not sure is the best choice, so that is why I'm replacing the fill:

http://www.flowerseed.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Seeds-Delonix-regia-Shrub-Flame-tree-Royal-Poinciana-Tree-Red-180x180.jpg

Thanks!
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby Chtimulato » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:18 pm

Hi.

I may be wrong, but I think flamboyant seeds, from what I know and have seen, and from the picture in your link, are a little too big.

In the Caribbean (where my mother came from), they use smaller seeds, (I can't find the name now, sorry) to make shakers with empty spray cans or gourds (calabashes).

Since I live in continental France, where those seeds are rather unknown, I "cheat" and use some very small plastic or glass beads to put in the few shakers I make. I also like to use grape seeds/pips, which can produce another sound, nice too. I also made some maracas out of (thick) plastic soda bottles, mostly for fun, which I filled with the same beads, and it does sound. I use a pair of them in my band.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, autumn is coming. You can then make a "grape diet" and collect the pips.

If it may help...

I can ask some cousins if they know which kind of seed is used in the "homeland" shakers, but you'll have to be patient.
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby Chtimulato » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:12 pm

I remember these seeds are red and black, and litterally called "she ass eyes seed" in creole (french-caribbean dialect), but don't know the official name. Gonna ask my kin.
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby pulse » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:19 pm

Thanks Chtimulato. I'm very interested in this. Is "she ass eyes seed" a translation of the original term? Can you post the original term which might produce better search results? You bring up many other interesting points I'd like to reply to, but might be a day or so before I find the time.

Thanks!
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby Chtimulato » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:27 am

As I stated, "she ass eyes seed" is the dialectal set of expression I translated litterally, with the help of a dictionnary. Excuse my approximative english... Me stranger, me no good english :wink:

I'm gonna text a cousin of mine and ask her if she knows or can find out the official term (she's got more connections than me).

Be patient, we Caribbean are renowned for being cool and nonchalant (but not lazy, that's a lie ! :D ).
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby pulse » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:07 pm

Thanks Chtimulato. I'm in no hurry. Maybe this is abrus precatorius?:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrus_precatorius

I'd read about these seeds being used for maracas in Cuba, but didn't remember this until now. Probably it's completely safe to use for the purpose, but the seeds are so highly toxic I'd still be nervous :-|
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby Chtimulato » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:31 pm

That's it, pulse, you got it !
Here's the pic : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abrus_precatorius_seeds.jpg
or http://www.sitegrainesdumonde.com/imgsdespages/creations/Abrus-mini.jpg and these are the seeds I meant.

They are also called « church seeds » or « liquorice seeds », amongst other names.

They are toxic indeed, unless you boil them (but maybe they won't be so hard then). They remain harmless as long you don't pierce or crush them (don't let children play with them !) so make sure your instrument is tight enough and well sealed.

The ones I named are in fact something else ; « steer eye » or « she ass eye » can be seen here :
http://antanlontan.chez-alice.fr/images/zieabef.jpg,
http://antanlontan.chez-alice.fr/images/zieabour.jpg
and here http://www.sitegrainesdumonde.com/imgsdespages/histoires_de_graines/agrandissements/Mucuna-urens-graines.jpg and seem in fact too big to be used in maracas/shakers/calabashes.
But this was not my bad : this name was tought to me at the time by a master drummer with whom I was learning, so he is to blame. But these seeds and peas can get different names from one island or country to another.

Doing this research, I found this website, call « World seeds » (in french, sorry) : http://www.sitegrainesdumonde.com/index.php.

It has an order page : http://www.sitegrainesdumonde.com/index.php?page=grainesdetail, and, guess what, you can even order some seeds of our abrus precatorius.

But now we know it's ID, I guess you can find similar sites in english.
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby Sakuntu » Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:15 pm

Yes, these are the seeds they use for maracas (Kreyol-TchaTcha) in Haiti. I know them as Pwa Legliz (church beans). They do give the best sound. I've use plastic beans etc....but nothing like a pwa legliz. :-)
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Re: Pan Con Queso maracas stitched with fishing line?

Postby Chtimulato » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:10 pm

Hi.

I just spent a week in Martinique and saw some "pwa legliz" in a artesan shop. But the owner told me she wouldn't sell them, because she used and needed them to make some jewels. And I also learned the selling was forbidden, because of the toxicity. So you'll have to order them on a website if you want some.
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