Raven Rattle

CMC S85-3308; PCD 94-633-028

Haida; collected on Haida Gwaii (probably Skidegate) in 1876 by Lord and Lady Dufferin. CMC VII-C-2149

A standard accoutrement of a north coast chief was a pair of Raven rattles. Rattles such as this one were used by a chief in ceremonies. The different sounds and rhythms produced by a pair of rattles enhanced the drama of his oratory.

The basic form is that of the Raven holding a small object in its beak, in reference to the myth of Raven bringing sunlight to mankind. On this rattle, the Raven supports a shaman initiate who is drawing inspiration and knowledge from the animal world through the link between his tongue and that of a mythical bird. On the Raven's breast is a flat design image of Konankada, Chief of the Undersea World.