Gourd shell maracas
Gourd shell maracas have heads made of dried calabash, gourd, or coconut shells. They produce a loud, husky sound commonly heard in traditional music. They are usually decorated with bright, colorful patterns.
Leather maracas are made of cowhide or other animal skin, usually treated to make them stiff and resonant. They produce a deep, slightly muffled sound. They are often stitched at the sides with thick colored thread.
Plastic maracas are lighter and more durable than other maracas. They have a loud sound with relatively high pitch. Those with thinner heads have a distinct crystal-like sound. They are available in a wide range of colors and are often designed for children.
Wood maracas have thin wooden walls, usually polished or painted in bright colors. They produce a loud, hollow sound ideal for setting rhythm in folk music. Their volume is determined by the size of the grains. Larger grains produce louder sounds.