Brazil unveils shaky answer to the vuvuzela for World Cup
4/29/2013, 7:33 a.m.
By Sarah Holt
Friends, Brazilians and soccer fans lend me your ears -- the shimmy and shake of the caxirola is coming to a football match near you soon.
The pear-shaped plastic percussion piece is to be the musical instrument of choice for the 2014 World Cup after it was given the seal of approval by Brazil's Ministry of Sport.
About time too some might argue after the raucous cacophony of the vuvuzela -- the long, plastic horn trumpeted on the terraces during the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa.
"For many people, the vuvuzela is very noisy, but the truth is that no one forgets," said the caxirola's inventor Brazilian composer Carlinhos Brown, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2012.
"She foretold that we should continue the pace. As a musician, I could not stop and there arose caxirola, a little less noisy."
If the buzzing vuvuzela, whose raspy monotones drew comparisons to a swarm of angry bees and divided opinion, provided the sound track to the World Cup three years ago, Brazil's aural arouser is based on the caxixi, a woven Indian instrument filled with dried beans.
Designed to produce a gentler sound -- similar to maracas or rainsticks -- and dressed in the green and yellow colours of Brazil's national flag, the caxirola has also been given a ringing endorsement by the country's President Dilma Rousseff.
"This image of the green and yellow caxirola, it enchants because of the fact that we are talking about a 'green' plastic in a country that leads in sustainability in the world," she said at the instrument's recent launch.
"And at the same time it is an object that has the ability to do two things, to combine the image with sound and take us to our goals."
Vuvuzelas were so popular during the 2010 World Cup that manufacturers such as Masincedane Sport were selling as many as 50,000 of them a month.
Brown wants his invention to have similar mass appeal when the World Cup arrives in Brazil for its fiesta of football.
"The caxirola as with the vuvuzela, is the ball of the fans," explained Brown. "We want every South American to have a caxirola in their hands."
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However, Brazil might not want their musical invention to follow quite the same path as the vuvuzela.
Attempts to ban the plastic horn during the World Cup itself may have failed but it soon found itself on the not-wanted list at global sporting tournaments.
Europe's governing soccer body UEFA banned them from all competitions, including the Champions League, the Europa League and Euro 2012 matches.
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were among the first English Premier League clubs to silence the vuvuzela, banning it from their grounds because of concerns over irritation and safety.
Vuvuzelas got such a bad reputation that they were also barred from the Wimbledon tennis championship at the All England Club.
Traditional football rattles, though they were lessening in popularity, also disappeared from stadiums in the 1970s because of safety concerns.
If the caxirola follows the fate of the vuvuzela or rattle, Brazil has a Plan B involving the production of a plastic version of the indigenous pedhua whistle, which mimics bird calls.
So, whoever wins the 2014 World Cup can blow their own whistle -- or do the caxirola shake.