Raven Rattle, 19th century
British Columbia; Tsimshian
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.2161)
The form of this rattle is that of a bird (raven) bearing a totemic emblem on its breast. On the bird's back are the figures of a shaman and a kingfisher, the mythological source of the shaman's supernatural powers. The figures are united by one tongue, which forms the bridge through which the magic force flows.