"Life is a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead
and sometimes you follow."
The player fronts the band with maracas in hand in animated motion. In Central America they are sometimes made out of small metal juice cans, filled with sand, welded three or four and painted with vivid colors.
"Tangerine" By Jimmy Dorsey
It was used in the Mayan culture, long before the Aztecs took over and then went to Cuba and the Caribbean. It attained more popularity in the Dominican Republic than anywhere else and it is generally accepted as Dominican.
A holdover from the Mayan five count measure, where each clave "Palito" was hit in every other beat. Very easy there. Not so when trying to do this in a four count measure. Not many profess to do this "correctly."
These are now being omitted more and more in the music that passes for Latin or Mestizo. It helps to know that the Mexican empires from the Toltec to the Aztec had professional dancers and musicians and very proficient in many percussion instruments in addition to the drums. The drums came into existence right after the appearance of Agriculture throughout the world.