Date: 19th century

Geography: Sitka, Alaska, United States

Culture: Native American (Tlingit)

Medium: Wood

Dimensions: 10 × 4 3/4 in. (25.4 × 12.1 cm)

Classification: Idiophone-Shaken-rattle

Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

Accession Number: 89.4.614


This unusual rattle depicts a double-headed eagle. Animals depicted on Northwest Coast rattles were almost always representations of those found in the natural world. The appearance of this rattle suggests contact between the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast and Russian explorers in the nineteenth century who would have carried with them symbols of the Russian imperial double-eagle emblem.