10 Facts About Native American Rattles

12 Feb 10 Facts About Native American Rattles

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When you visit the southwest, try to visit an Indian pow wow. Native American rattles will be a very interesting part of the ceremony. If you want to learn more about American Indian culture, you will love the authentic rattles made from various natural materials. The Indian people also call them Native American shakers, and some people use them for southwest and rustic decor.

1. Rattles have become icons of Native American heritage. They represent the various different Indigenous tribes. In Native culture rattles are one of the most popular instruments used during ceremonials.

2. Different Tribes use rattles now as they have for generations. They are used in public gatherings. They are also important in the spiritual connection with the creator.

3. Historically, Native American rattles have been essential to tribal ceremonies being symbolic to each tribe that uses them. The symbols usually include those from the plant, animal and mineral kingdom.

4. A turtle shell container may represent the animal kingdom. The earthen paint used to decorate the rattle may represent the mineral kingdom. Small rocks may also represent the mineral kingdom as they are placed inside. The plant kingdom is usually represented by the handle of the rattle.

5. It’s interesting that not all tribes used drums but most did use rattles throughout history. Some Tribes used elaborate rattles made with turtle shells or carved gourds. Some tribes almost exclusively used sea weed rattles.

6. One type among the American Indian Tribes that was the most popular was the rawhide rattle. Each Tribe had their own way of making the rawhide rattles. They used varying patterns and symbols in their bead work, colors and designs. By studying the designs and colors used, you can tell which tribe made it. They were handcrafted works of art.

7. One thing the Tribes had in common is that they used the rattles as a part of their music and dance. They also used them for medicine and spirituality.

8. Native rattles use many natural materials such as leather, rawhide, beads and feathers. Other choices include antlers, bones and shells as well as fur, leather, seeds and rocks. Each of these are what the artist uses to create a personal and unique Indian rattle.

9. What is inside the rattle is equally important. Many times, corn, beans or manzanita seeds or trade beads are placed inside. One interesting custom is to use small smooth stones gathered from the opening of an ant hill.

10. Music and songs as well as stories have always been an important part of Native American teaching. Sharing legends and teachings through ceremonies and rituals keeps traditions and cultural beliefs alive.

There is something thrilling about owning one and it is easy to buy Native American rattles online. Display a rattle with your rustic southwest decor. Or, use an Indian rattle in your drumming circle and enjoy the authentic Indian art on Native rattles. You will no doubt be drawn to the colorful culture and sound of Native American rattles.

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