The Cabasa was originally an African gourd with beads on strings attached to the outside. The modern Cabasa was created by a New Yorker Mr. Martin Cohen who was President of Latin Percussion Drum Company.  The modern version is made from steel balls wrapped around a cylinder with a handle. The rattling sound effect is great for salsa bands, bossa nova and latin jazz.  Sam Ash Music Store in Miami has a wide variety of Cabasas.