Native American Indian Rattles

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Rattles, or shakers as they are also known, are an important part of the nearly every Native American Indian culture. Rattles are often used to accompany drums and to help keep rhythm during tribal dances or ceremonies. The earliest rattles known, were made from animal hide and attached to a small wooden staff. They would have been filled with small rocks and sewn shut.

Native American Indian rattles can be made of many types of materials.  The Indian tribes of the West Coast use wood to carve a hollow container. Inside are seeds, rocks, or shells to give the rattle its’ sound.

Rattles are often beautifully decorated and painted to depict sacred animals or tell stories. Traditionally, animal fur, strings of beads and other materials may have been used depending upon their availability.

The Meaning Behind Rattles

The rattles represent the three kingdoms in Native American Indian belief. These are animal, which is represented by the casing or feather decorations, mineral, which is represented by the rocks used for sound or the paint, and finally, plant, represented by the wooden handle. The sound the rattles make is believed to help clear the mind and bring peace. Some cultures even believe that the music from the rattle can heal our bodies of ailments.

Please view our gallery to find Rattles that were carved by authentic Native American Indian Artists.