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Shaman's rattle.


Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Wellcome Collection
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Shaman's rattle, carved wood and painted with totemic figures. Made in 2 parts. Hollow body, handle for carrying (damaged) (for figures see other page). North West Coast of America. The main totemic figure on this very fine medicine man's rattle is the Ravan with wings outspread. In his beak he is carrying the Moon (as bringer of light to humanity). On his back ia a human reclining figure-a patient- with his tongue in mouth of another supernatural bird-the "sasaw". This represents the transfussion of life and health into the sick man. On the belly of the Raven is carved a totemic Hawk. Rattles of this type are made by the Haida, Tsimshian, Tinglit and Kwokiutl Indians. Among the latter they are used in the Laolaxa dances or ceremonials closely associated with clans, and membership may only be obtained by marriage or by victory over a person who is entitled to the ceremonial



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Shaman's rattle. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

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