Rattle

Date: 19th century

Geography: British Columbia, Canada

Culture: Native American (Tsimshian)

Medium: Wood, paint, sinew, pebbles

Dimensions: W. 8.9 x L. 31.8cm (3 1/2 x 12 1/2in.)

Classification: Idiophone-Shaken-rattle

Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

Accession Number: 89.4.2161

Description

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.

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