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Use Native American Rattles In Your Powwows And Ceremonies

Mar 3, 2008
Native American Rattles make great additions to any group of Indian musical instruments. Rattles are excellent Native American symbols representing Indian tribes and their unique culture. They are also among the most popular musical instruments for use in powwows and other ceremonies throughout the majority of Indian tribes. Rattles, for many years and for most American Indians, have always played a large part in religion and spirituality as well as for use in communal events.

As you read about the fascinating history of American Indians and their use of Native American rattles, you will see that they have great significance among the Indigenous tribes and are very important to the Indian rituals in which they are played. It is said that they signify the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms. The animal kingdom is represented in the form of the container or decorative feather of the rattle. The mineral kingdom is represented by the rocks that make the sound or also by the paint used for the artwork painted on the rattle. And, the plant kingdom is represented by the handle.

When researching the uses of Native American rattles and how they are played, you will see that nearly every tribal culture including the Navajo culture, use rattles in their ceremonial events. Among the many types of Indian rattles, along with the popular gourd rattles and turtle shell rattles, the simple rawhide rattle is the most used in Native American culture. The patterns and symbols, such as the Navajo bear or Navajo eagle, used in the artwork painted on the rattles, differ with each tribe. You will find it interesting that the various tribes including the Cherokee, Navajo, Apache, Pueblo, Zuni and Hopi, can all be identified by the variations of the beautiful art work on their hand crafts. One thing these tribes do have in common is that they all use rattles in the many ceremonial events and as part of music, dance, medicine and spirituality.

The Native rattles are really very appealing and are made with a variety of natural materials such as turtle shell, leather, rawhide, bead work and Native American feathers. Fur, fringe, seeds, rocks, antlers, horns, bones and shells are used to give it that unique native style. Clay beads, blue corn, manzanita seeds or small smooth rocks such as those found at the mouth of an ant hill, are also sometimes put in the rattles to get the desired sound.

Indian culture has always used music, songs, stories and legends to share their cultural beliefs and traditions to each other and to the outside world. It is in connection with these ways of learning that rattles have come to be an important aspect in the ceremonies and rituals of the Indian people.

That is the reason there is nothing more fascinating than owning authentic Indian musical instruments and hand crafts. You can easily find Native rattles online and also in stores that sell southwest home decor. If you are interested in authentic Indian musical instruments, or are trying to find the perfect instrument to use in your drumming circles, you will certainly enjoy the wonderful sound of Native American rattles.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and author offering free information online about using Native American Rattles for Indian ceremonies and powwows. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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