Date: 19th century
Geography: Plains States, United States
Culture: Native American (Sioux)
Medium: Wood, metal, leather
Dimensions: Overall: 53.3cm (21in.)
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number: 89.4.597
A product of European trade items, this rattle has three crotal brass bells and fifty-nine rolled-metal conical jingles. Each bell or jingle is attached to the shaft of the rattle by a small strip of Native-tanned leather inserted at its apex and tied, or, in the case of the conical jingles, compressed between the metal walls. The shaft of the rattle has a wooden core covered in stitched Native-tanned leather, allowing the small pieces attached to the bells and jingles to be stitched to the leather covering. Rolled-metal cones like these are often found on the dresses of women dancers in the Great Plains culture region; the dresses are worn for a special type of dancing, known as Jingle Dancing. It is common to see jingles formed from the reused lids of cut chewing tobacco canisters. Rattles like this would be employed during the dance, held in the hand and made to sound along with the movement of the dancer.