Ceremonial Rattles
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Plains Indian (Menominee) Ceremonial Rattles

Plains Indian (Menominee) Ceremonial Rattles


The gourd rattle was used during dances. Gourds were raised by farming tribes in their gardens along with pumpkins, squash, corn and beans. The seeds in the gourd represented the "sound of creation" as the instrument was swung sideways during songs. Brass hawk bells attached to the top added to the rhythm sounds. There is a buckskin wrist thong for carrying the rattle when not used during a dance because ceremonial objects are not allowed to touch the ground.

Gourds come in many shapes and the type chosen for this dance instrument is unique.

The nomadic tribes, such as the Lakota Sioux, did not farm so used the bull bison for fashioning their rattles.


Plains Indian (Menominee) Ceremonial Rattles


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