Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Castanets, from the Spanish word for chestnut, are two hollowed pieces of wood or ivory, shaped like the halves of a chestnut, and joined by a band or cord which passes over the thumb, the two halves falling into the hollow of the hand. They are used to make a rattling accompaniment to music or dancing, and serve to mark the rhythm. The Moors are said to have introduced them into Spain; and the krotalon of the Greeks served a similar purpose. Nature has provided the rattlesnake with castanets, which however differ in shape from those used in Spain.