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Rattle

shoa shoa “rattle”
Language: Tsimshian

I don’t know if it is documented, but our people believe that the chief’s rattle and the frontlet mask are of Tsimshian origin…Every tribe has something that they do that influences others.

—David Boxley, 2009

During secret society performances chiefs carried raven-shaped rattles that portrayed the transfer of spiritual power from animal beings to people. On Raven’s back a crested bird holds a frog in its extended beak, and through its tongue the halaayt of the frog enters and transforms a person or spirit in human form. Raven rattles, used by the Tsimshian, Haida, and Tlingit, are thought to have been first made by a Tsimshian or Nisga’a artist.

Culture: Tsimshian
Region: Nass River, British Columbia, Canada
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length 33cm
Accession Date: 1990 (collected 1882)
Source: Lloyd W. Curtis (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E424992