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Using Native American Rattles For Ceremonial Playing

Apr 1, 2008
If you love Native American Rattles, you will definitely benefit from adding them to your drumming circles and powwows. Rattles are wonderful Native American symbols representing Indian tribes and their unique beliefs.

They are also among the most popular musical instruments for use in powwows and other ceremonies throughout various Indian tribes. Rattles, for hundreds of years and for the majority of American Indians, have always had a great part in the spiritual connection with the creator as well as for use in social gatherings.

As you study the intriguing history of American Indians and their use of Native American rattles, you will learn that they are symbolic among the Indigenous tribes and are essential to the tribal rituals in which they are used. 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 signified by the rocks that create the sound or also by the paint used for the artwork depicted on the rattle. And, the plant kingdom is represented by the handle.

When studying the uses of Native American rattles and how they are played, you will see that almost every Indigenous culture including the Navajo culture, use rattles in their ceremonial rituals.

Among the many variations of Indian rattles, together with the highly sought-after gourd rattles and turtle shell rattles, the simple rawhide rattle is the most used in Native American tribes. The figures, such as the Navajo bear or Navajo eagle, used in the artwork pictured on the rattles, differ with each tribe.

You will find it intriguing that the different tribes including the Cherokee, Navajo, Apache, Pueblo, Zuni and Hopi, can all be recognized by the differences of the beautiful art work on their hand crafts. Something these people do have in common is that they all use rattles in various ceremonial rituals and as part of music, dance, medicine and spirituality.

The Indian rattles are really very appealing and are fashioned using a number 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 Indian style. Clay beads, blue corn, manzanita seeds or small smooth stones such as those found at the mouth of an ant hill, are also sometimes placed in the rattles to create the unique sound.

Indigenous culture has always used music, songs, stories and legends to communicate their cultural beliefs and customs to each other and to the outside world. It is in harmony with these ways of learning that rattles have come to be a significant part in the ceremonies and rituals of the Indian people.

That is the reason there is nothing more exciting than owning genuine Indian musical instruments and hand crafts. You can easily buy Indian rattles online and also in stores that sell western decor.

If you are intrigued by authentic Indian musical instruments, or are trying to find the perfect instrument to use in your ceremonial events, you will definitely appreciate 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 in ceremonies and powwows. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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