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Raven Rattle

Arts of the Americas

On View: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
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
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS
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
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 05.588.7292
CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1905, Museum Collection Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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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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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.
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