From the Yoruba word sèkèrè (gourd - drum with whelk nets), the xequerê is an instrument of African origins which is shaped like a rattle. Also known as the agbê or abê, it consists of a gourd covered in a net of beads.
The instrument is played by holding and shaking the gourd from side to side, causing the beads to hit the outer part of the gourd.
The xequerê is used in a number of Brazilian musical genres and is indispensable for Bahian afoxés. It is also popular in the maracatus of Pernambuco, although it was not historically part of this rhythm and was incorporated into the style in the 1980s.
According to anthropologist Vivaldo da Costa Lima, this instrument calls out to the well-known alabês (from the Yoruba word alagbe - owner of the agbê), players and supervisors of the sacred instruments of Brazilian candomblés. On the African continent, it is also known as the lilolo, axatse, and chequere.