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A brief cultural history of Rattles

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1 A brief cultural history of Rattles
One of the oldest forms of music. Can be made from animal parts, vegetation, ceramics, and/or metals . Used in ancient cultures the world over for various spiritual purposes.

2 ** In many cultures, rattles are used in healing rites and invoking the gods by the shaman or healer. For this purpose, only that person was allowed to make and play the instrument and the rattle was the primary form of communication with the spirits or ancestors. In many cases, the instrument itself came to hold special magical powers and in some tribes, the rattle was regarded as the dwelling place of great spirits and ancestors . Ritualistic rattles would have been embellished with design and symbols. You will create a contemporary ceramic rattle using the pinch method and it must have an attached handle of some sort . The rattle and/or handle will need to be enhanced with additive and subtractive design elements as well as with the glazing. As you look at the following examples, try to envision your rattle and its purpose. It could be spiritual or just plain silly. Either way, BE CREATIVE!

3 Rattles as Body Jewelry
These type of rattles were worn as leg instruments for dancers. Made from animal hide, shells, nuts, wood, clay, and/or woven basketry.

4 Native American Hand Rattles
Iroquois: Turtle Shell with Deer Bone Handles, Feather embellishments Animal vertebrae used as beads Pueblo: Painted Rawhide with pebbles, seeds, or bone as beads, embellished with feathers

5 More Native American Sioux and Blackfeet Buffalo Horn Rattles with Dried Corn, Cherry Pits, or Pebbles Lakota Sioux: Deer Leg Bone with Deer Hooves and Rawhide

6 Aztec Tribal Rattles Made from the Ayayote Nut. Worn on ankles or made into rattle.


8 Native American Rattles


10 Other Examples

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