4 Guaguas, Catas or Palitos just finished

      Call them what you will, these guaguas (catas) are recently finished. They are sanded, wrapped and just waiting for the coat of Danish Oil to dry. Which might take a little while considering how gloomy and cold it is here in San Francisco.

    Sorry rumberos, but these are all spoken for. The first one on the left is off to a little island in England. The second from the left is going to a rumbero in Phoenix, Arizona and the last two are for me.

    Why do I need two guaguas? Well these instruments take a lot of abuse getting banged on with sticks; even though I do my best to make them durable, they are a natural material after all.

    Also I've been bringing the instruments to the local rumba lately. Congas, claves, campana, shekere and the guagua. Can you imagine how sad this rumbero would be if I showed up without a guagua?

   Now imagine how sad I would be when this rumbero starts playing palitos on the side of one of my tumbadoras instead of the cata because I didn't have a backup!


  1. Hello there sir! I love coming back to your site to reread articles or to look again at some of the wonderful pics you have. I have a question and favor to ask: For fun, I like to make shekeres. However, I have just purchased two 5"dia by 8' bamboo poles to make my own guaguas!!! I'm so excited. I was wondering if you can offer any advice in the finishing process? I love the look of the bands you add...I assume they also add strength to reduce cracks...how dow you do that? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Jose,
      Apologies for the late reply, if you do a little more digging on my site I talk about finishes and the string tied around the bamboo. It's not a difficult technique, you create a loop, then wrap the string around the loop, then you put the end in the loop and pull it under the warappings. Good luck.