How to make an Agogô from Coconuts
Capoeira classes cancelled thanks to coronavirus?
Stuck in the house with nothing but a pair of old coconuts and a stick?
Well we’ve got just the thing for you – A step by step guide on how to make a coconut agogô, aka an “acocô”!
> 2 different size coconuts
> 1 stick
> 2 small screws and washers
> Cachaça (optional)
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to make an Agogô musical instrument for Capoeira from coconuts in 8 easy steps.
- Drain the water from the coconuts
At the base of the coconut you’ll find 3 small dents where the nut was attached to the tree.
Take a nail or screwdriver or other hard pointy thing and hammer it into one of the holes.
Remove it and repeat with another hole.
You’ll now be able to drain the coconut water into a glass and drink it.
Add a shot of cachaça if you’re in quarantine and therefore don’t have to drive anywhere.
- Saw off the tip of the coconut
You want to create an opening that’s wide enough to let the sound out, but closed enough to create some reverb and amplification, same as you would when making a cabaça.
You’d be better using a hacksaw for this than the saw I was using, but we’re in lockdown over here so you work with what you’ve got!
- Scrape out the insides
The coconut agogô, or “acocô” as we like to call it, is definitely the most delicious capoeira instrument to make!
Use a sharp knife to dig all of the coconut flesh out of the coconut and eat it. Mmm.
Tip: It’s quite filling, so if you don’t eat it all straight away you can either keep it fresh in a tupperware in the fridge for a couple of days, or longer if you toast it in the oven to dry it out first.
- Give the coconuts a Brazilian
Next step is to remove all the hair and leave them smooth and sexy.
We found sandpaper to be the best method, though you could also use the knife if you don’t have any.
- Give it some stick
Any old stick will do. Several trees blew down in the woods near my house in the recent storms, so I lopped a branch off one of them for ours.
Just strip the bark off and whittle it down with a knife till it’s to your liking.
If you don’t have any fallen trees lying around, any stick will do. An old (or new) broom handle, part of an old piece of furniture, etc.
- Cut some slits into the coconuts
This improves the quality of the sound that the coconuts produce. About 1 inch / 2-3cm should do it.
- Screw the coconuts to the stick
Use one of the holes that you made to drain out the water. You’ll need quite a small screw as you don’t want it to come through the other side of your stick, so if the head slips through the gap, use a washer.
Make sure you leave enough space between the coconuts so that they don’t touch.
As you can see, we have extra holes from where we drained the water from the coconuts. You could avoid this by not draining the water, or you could fill them afterwards. As we’re pretty lazy however, we just left them and it doesn’t seem to affect the sound! ?
- Go Go Coco Agogô!
Your coconut agogô is now ready to go, woohoo!
You could potentially paint or varnish it, but as you’ll remember from step 7 we are lazy malandros, so we didn’t bother…
If you give it a go, let us know. Stick a photo or video on instagram and tag us to show us how it went!