Razey-Razeys

The true South American razey-razey is a cylindrical length of hollow wood with regular notches along one side. When stroked with a flat piece of wood it makes a rather spine-tickling duck-squawk noise. They are not generally available to buy and would be too expensive if they were but they can be improvised quite easily. The simplest version is a length of dowelling or broom handle about ten inches long, evenly notched along its length with a wood file or rasp. The noise varies according to how deep the notches are and how far apart. A wooden lolly stick can be used as the scraper or, better still, the edge of an inverted yogurt pot or cream carton as this gives resonance to the noise. A better version can be made from a length of hollow bamboo notched in the same way. The nearest approximation to the real thing can be made from a thick piece of bamboo which is closed at the ends by the fibrous wood of the natural joints. The notches have to be made with a saw, two cuts being used for each notch, one vertical and the other slanting to give a lopsided ‘V. The cuts should be deep enough each time to go right through the bamboo and the hollow tube then acts as its own sound box. They are useful as a sound effect and for the children to experiment with, especially it several different-sounding ones can be made.