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Play Native American Rattles In Indian Ceremonies And Events

Jun 25, 2008
Native American Rattles make great additions to any group of Indian musical instruments. Rattles are intriguing Native American icons representing Indigenous people and their unique beliefs.

They are also among the most used musical instruments for use in powwows and other ceremonies throughout most Indian tribes. Rattles, for many years and for many groups of American Indians, have always played a large part in the spiritual connection with the creator as well as for use in communal events.

As you read about the interesting history of American Indians and their use of Native American rattles, you will find that they are symbolic among the Indigenous people and are very meaningful to the tribal rituals in which they are played.

It is said that they signify the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms. The animal kingdom is exemplified in the form of the container or decorative feather of the rattle. The mineral kingdom is signified by the rocks that sound or also by the paint used for the artwork pictured 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 almost every tribal culture including the Navajo culture, play rattles in their ceremonies. Among the many variations of Indian rattles, including the highly sought-after gourd rattles and turtle shell rattles, the simple rawhide rattle is the most common in Native American tribes.

The symbols, 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 distinguished by the variations of the beautiful art work on their hand crafts.

Something these people do have in common is that they all play rattles in various ceremonial gatherings and as part of music, dance, medicine and spirituality. The Indian rattles are really very appealing and are designed 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 create that unique native style. Clay beads, blue corn, manzanita seeds or small smooth rocks such as those found near the opening of an ant hill, are also sometimes placed in the rattles to get the desired sound.

Native culture has always used music, songs, stories and legends to express their cultural beliefs and customs to each other and to those around them. It is in harmony with these forms of learning that rattles have come to be a significant part in the ritualistic ceremonies of the Indigenous people.

That is why there is nothing more thrilling than owning genuine Indian musical instruments and hand crafts. You can easily buy Native rattles online and sometimes in stores that sell western home decor.

If you are fascinated by authentic Indian musical instruments, or are searching for the perfect instrument to play in your drumming circles or powwows, you will no doubt love the beautiful sound of Native American rattles.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free tips online about Native American rattles. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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