NATIVE AMERICAN CEREMONIAL AND DANCE RATTLES
© 2010 Cherry Hill
Native American rattles have been and are used for many purposes including healing and other medicine uses, dancing for ceremony and celebration, commemorating birth and more. To First Nations people, shakers or rattles represent rain (for prayers of abundance and prosperity) and tears, especially those of emotional release. Tears of joy signifying when the mind, body, soul and spirit connect. Ceremonially, rattles are used in cleansing and purifying, spiritual guidance work, celebration and in thanks and respect to Ancestral Spirits.
Rattles can be made of many materials including deer and elk hooves, rawhide, turtle shells, gourds, wood, buffalo parts (horn, hump bone, scrotum) bones, horns and antlers of all kinds, leather (cowhide, buckskin, elkskin).
The rattling items are either inside or outside. Rattles such as gourds might have small items inside such as beans, corn, small stones, or even the seeds native to the gourd itself.
Rattles with external sound makers are adorned with pieces of metal, tinkle cones, bells, beads and more.
Generally, medicine rattles are made entirely of natural materials and the sound is more muted. Dance rattles are made of almost any materials, natural and otherwise. In fact, unusual items such as pieces of scrap metal, coins and other resonating materials are used to create a loud, crisp sound. Dance rattles are often made like a coup stick, using bone or wood with a handle on the end.
A door blessing is a wonderful hanging for the door of your home, office, tack room or other special place. It embodies many elements from Mother Nature and has specific symbolism.
With some elements of a prayer stick, a medicine stick and a sage bundle, a door blessing is intended to purify and bless the place and all who enter.
Paraphrased from the attached card:
- The Medicine Stick brings positive energy.
- The red, yellow, white and black ribbons represent the Four Directions from which all strength comes.
- The feather represents Freedom.
- Thoughts, Prayers, and Choices are represented by the bead circle which shows us that our thoughts return to us again and again.
- Turquoise protects us and keeps us Positive in thought.
- The rabbit fur is to help us keep a warm heart.
- The fur reminds us that Mother Earth is the Giver of Life and we should walk softly.
- The Sage Medicine Stick exists that we might all live in Love and Oneness.
Although these are not Native American made, they are inspired by Native American symbolism. They are made for us in Utah from rabbit fur, turkey feathers, sage, beads and ribbons.
Approximately 8″ wide x 12″ long with a loop for hanging.