Oyster Catcher Rattle
Arts of the Americas
Rattles are shaken by a shaman over an afflicted person’s body or left with the patient for protection. This example depicts a long-billed bird called an oyster catcher, thought to be a transformative animal because it lives in the sky yet dives beneath the water for sustenance. Riding on the bird’s back is a shaman who is being transformed into a land otter with a long tail terminating in a horned monster face. The bird’s webbed feet are carved on the underside of the rattle.
Las maracas son sacudidas por un chamán sobre el cuerpo de la persona enferma o se dejan con el paciente como protección. Este ejemplo muestra un ave de largo pico llamada cazador de ostras, el cual se cree es un animal de transformación ya que vive en el cielo, pero bucea bajo el agua para conseguir alimento. Cabalgando a espaldas del pájaro se ve a un chamán que se transforma en una nutria de cola larga terminada en una cara monstruosa con cuernos. Los pies palmados del ave están tallados al reverso de la maraca.
Wood, abalone shell
late 19th century
9 x 13 x 5 in. (22.9 x 33 x 12.7 cm) (show scale)
Brooklyn Museum Collection
Chief's or shaman's rattle of carved wood with abalone inlay. Long billed bird with possibly the shaman himself riding on the birds back, the back has become a land otter with a long tail. The tail ends as if it is a monster face at the land otters tail and horns take the place of ears. The underside of the rattle has a beaked bird with web feet upturned. Koskimo location is now called Tla-o-qui-aht.
This was once catalogued as depicting the legend of Ka-ka-tete,[Ka-tia-hete] the whistling demon. Examined by Bill Holm 11/71 and called the finest example of its kind.
Condition: Thongs holding it together are gone, now glued. Three abalone eyes gone.
Tlingit attribution based on stylistic evidence. Original attribution was Kwakwaka'wak. This acession number assigned to it in c. 1930 when first record was made.
This item is not on view
Tlingit. Oyster Catcher Rattle, late 19th century. Wood, abalone shell, 9 x 13 x 5 in. (22.9 x 33 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 05.273. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.273_view1_bw.jpg)
left, 05.273_view1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.