X84.715 Rattle

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Rattle
Tlingit peoples
Alaska
19th-early 20th century
Wood, pigment, seeds
L: 9.6 cm, H: 30.5 cm, D: 10.5 cm (L: 3.8 in, H: 12.0 in, D: 4.1 in)
Gift of Dorothy M. Cordry in memory of Donald B. Cordry. X84.715

Category:
Description

Raven rattles are among the most important objects used in Pacific Northwest potlatch events and at winter dances by chiefs who don a frontlet and blanket for the occasion. A complex composition of animal and human forms characterizes such rattles, which are always held upside down. The most common motifs include a human figure reclining with a frog on its chest, a kingfisher, and the raven. The frog is transferring power to the figure, most likely a chief or shaman, and the raven is celebrated for releasing daylight from its beak.

Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006

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