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Raven Rattle

Arts of the Americas

Animals indigenous to the Northwest Coast region play prominent roles in this group of objects. Rattles were part of chiefs’ ceremonial dance regalia; the Tsimshian example depicts a shaman touching tongues with a frog as he rides on the back of a raven with another frog in its mouth. The clapper by the Haida artist Charles Edenshaw takes the form of a halibut with the face of the fish’s spirit represented on the tail. The Haida frontlet, which would have been attached to a headdress, represents a raven emerging from the mouth of a whale. The Tlingit soul catcher, of a type used by shamans to capture and protect people’s souls during healing ceremonies, depicts a whale with a fin rising from the center of its back.
CULTURE Tsimshian
MEDIUM Wood, pigment, rattles, cotton twine
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 14 x 4 in. (14.0 x 35.6 x 10.2 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1905, Museum Collection Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Raven rattle depicting a shaman on the back of a raven. The bird has a frog in its mouth, another frog touches tongues with the shaman, and frogs are on his feet. The bottom of the raven figure is carved. Condition: excellent.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Tsimshian. Raven Rattle, 19th century. Wood, pigment, rattles, cotton twine, 5 1/2 x 14 x 4 in. (14.0 x 35.6 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1905, Museum Collection Fund, 05.588.7292. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.588.7292_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 05.588.7292_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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