Learn about the African Rainstick and why it’s a great craft to make for young kids.
The African Rainstick is an iconic musical instrument that’s been used in schools for years and years. We have learned from it and recreated DIY versions of the rain stick in many different ways. You can even buy rain stick craft kits to make your own.
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History of the African Rainstick
“Rain sticks historically have been utilized by indigenous people living in dry, desert climates across the globe. Often employed in religious ceremonies, the purpose is to draw life-sustaining hydration from the heavens.”
The early rain sticks were constructed from dried cactus tubes or bamboo tubes that were hollowed out with thorns or such on the inside and filled with pebbles or beans. They were then sealed on both ends so when the rain stick is turned on its end and rotated, it makes a sound similar to rain.
The purpose of the African rainstick many years ago was the idea that the sound would summon rain. During days of drought, many believed that using the rainstick would help bring rain.
It’s not fully known where the original African rainstick came from, but some scholars think it came from a group of people called the Diaguita from northern Chile.
What are some uses for the african rainstick?
The African rainstick has a variety of uses, including:
- Musical instrument: The rainstick is often used as a percussion instrument in traditional African music and is also used in modern music.
- Relaxation and meditation: The soothing sound of the rainstick can be used to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere, making it a popular choice for meditation and relaxation practices.
- Decorative item: The intricate designs and patterns on the rainstick make it a beautiful decorative item that can be displayed in homes or offices.
- Educational tool: The rainstick can be used as an educational tool to teach children about different cultures and musical instruments.
- Therapy: The sound of the rainstick can be used in therapy sessions to promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety.
How is the african rainstick made?
The traditional African rainstick is made from a hollowed-out cactus stem or bamboo tube. Here are the general steps involved in making an African rainstick:
- Harvesting the stem or tube: The cactus stem or bamboo tube is harvested and allowed to dry in the sun for a few days.
- Decorating the exterior: The exterior of the rainstick is often decorated with intricate designs and patterns using paint, beads, or other materials.
- Filling the tube: Small pebbles, seeds, or other materials are placed inside the tube. The ends of the tube are then sealed with a material such as clay or wax.
- Adding thorns or spines: Small thorns or spines are often added to the exterior of the rainstick to create a more realistic sound when the instrument is turned upside down.
- Testing the sound: The sound of the rainstick is tested by turning it upside down and listening to the sound it produces. If the sound is not satisfactory, more or fewer pebbles or seeds may be added to adjust the sound.
- Final touches: The rainstick is then finished with any final touches, such as adding a handle or attaching a string for hanging.
Rainstick crafts for kids
Making a mimic African rainstick is a great idea not only because you get to create a fun craft, but also because it teaches children a little about history and how to make their own instrument.
When creating your own rainstick, it’s a great idea to use household supplies because it teaches little ones to be resourceful and creative. Not everything has to be store bought. You can see a simple DIY rainstick craft from a paper towel tube here.
That being said, if you do prefer to purchase a craft kit to make a DIY rain stick, we’ve got you covered with a handful of great rainstick craft kits.
African Rainsticks on Amazon
If you are looking to purchase a mimic African rainstick, Amazon has a lot of different choices.
Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links in this post. See more on my disclosure page.
I hope you’ve learned a bit about the African Rainstick, how to make your own Rainstick instrument and where to buy one similar.
Until next time, happy crafting!