The Güira

In Fun
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

The word güira seems familiar in most Dominican households. The percussion instrument, the güira, is used by Dominicans, for music like merengue or bachata. In each of my family’s household, you can find a güira. We brought our güiras from the Dominican Republic.  This instrument is mostly used in different occasions such as birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I’ve noticed that the men are usually the ones that gravitate towards the instrument. My cousins and I sometimes only use it for fun. The güira is a very strange looking instrument because it looks like a cheese grater. It is a metal scrapper which includes a stick. You hold the handle of the güira with one hand, and use your dominant hand to lightly scrape off the güira. There are other countries such as Puerto Rico and Mexico that use this same instrument to create their own music style. 
This object connects to my identity because it is part of my culture. The instrument is part of the music my family and I listen to and dance to, so it is more than just an object to us. It is part of the family. It resembles my Dominican heritage. When we use this instrument, it makes family events more memorable. In the future, when I have my own kids, I intend to have my own güira and show my kids how music was enjoyable and fun when I was a little girl. 

– Rachel

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant