This instrument is traditionally played in Brazilian Samba bands. High-pitched, its tone has a squeaky quality that reminds this instrument’s own name. It is said to imitate animal voices (monkey).
A cuica consists of a small, one-head drum with a thin, light wood stick attached to the centre of, and perpendicular to, its head. Typically, the player uses its hand to rub the stick up and down (with a wet piece of cloth), holding the instrument’s body at chest height with the other arm. The rubbing produces a vibration that the drum turns into a long voice-like sound. The thumb can change the pitch of that note by pressing down on the skin of the drum near the place where the stick is attached.