Art/ Collection/ Art Object


19th century
British Columbia, Canada
Native American (Tsimshian)
Wood, paint, sinew, pebbles
12 1/2 × 3 1/2 in. (31.8 × 8.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
The form of this rattle is that of a bird (raven) bearing a totemic emblem on its breast. On the bird's back are the figures of a shaman and a kingfisher, the mythological source of the shaman's supernatural powers. The figures are united by one tongue, which forms the bridge through which the magic force flows.
Collected by James G. Swan ; Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown ; Smithsonian Institution
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Oceanica and America. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1913, vol. II, pg. 97.

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