(Cylindrical drums with two usable membranes)
Alfaias are usually between 16 and 22 inches in diameter. Their construction is similar to 19th-century U.S. and European military or field drums, bombos, and other Latin American wooden bass drums. Their drumheads are clamped to the body with large wooden hoops, and they are played with distinctly shaped fat wooden drumsticks. Sometimes the stick in the dominant hand is a little larger than the one used in the weaker hand.
Traditionally strapped over the shoulder, alfaias are played with a distinctive technique, and players hold the weak-hand drumstick inverted to get the proper attack on the head. Alfaias are also known as "Rope-surdos" or "Maracatu-drums", and the largest ones are called "Alfaia-marcante". The medium-sized drums are called "Alfaia-meião". The alfaia has a characteristic deep, heavy sound, different from other bass drums such as the surdo or kick-drum, and they are used mainly in the northeastern folk rhythms and dances of Brazil, such as Maracatu, Ciranda and Coco-de-roda.