The urukayamba is a box-shaped rattle. It is notable that none of the three traditional population groups – Hutu, Tutsi and Twa – play this percussion instrument, though it is used by the Kiga (Northern Rwanda) and the Nyambo (Eastern Rwanda). The task of making the instrument is entrusted to young girls; 35 cm long stems of the reed plant inkenke are bound together on both sides of a fixed rectangular frame, resulting in a cane box (35x25x6cm). The edges are strengthened using cow dung and the rattle is filled with dried seeds of the ububogobogo fruit.
These rattles produce a regular and simple rhythmic sound and are used to accompany the singing and dancing of the women. They are moved and shaken from left to right.
For more information consult the following publications edited by the RMCA:
© KMMA/Jos GANSEMANS