itional instruments used for all their shamanistic rituals are the violin (sekeseke) drums (ehuru) deer- bone flute (muhusemoi) and huge rattle called ‘hebu mataro’ which is considered to be the most important of them. The spiritual significance of these instruments especially the rattle is to restore health to a very sick person. Ceremonial songs considered to be magical are sung by religious leaders and elders signify protection and healing. The Warao lullabies are melodic rhythmic patterns which signify their cultural beliefs and way of life. These songs are very important to teach their children the Warao culture and tradition and make them more familiar to their environment.
One of the traditional Shamanistic rituals in Warao is wailing of women when someone dies. During this ritual, the corpse is placed in a hammock and a mourner sits beside it. The other mourners radiate from this point around the body and start wailing in a semi – spoken and semi- musical voices. (Briggs, Charles L. 1993) They lament about fate wailing and singing alternately. Almost about 20 women wail simultaneously and this could go on for a period of about 30 to 40 minutes and the entire experience is a cacophony because it is not done together. (Briggs, 1992b)
The musical culture of the Warao tribes living in the Orinoco Basin developed and took shape as they travelled through the rainforests for their work. The songs were made up on the spot and comprised mostly of important occurrences and incidents in their lives. Many of their songs were religious in nature as they invoked the blessings of the spirits. They had separate songs for every occasion. They had songs for births, lullabies, dances, cutting down trees, deaths, coming of age, marriage, healing and protection and also for the election of their political and religious leaders.
Shamanism seems to be the centrifugal point around which the musical culture of the Warao’s revolves. Music finds its way into every aspect