Shaman's rattle

Native American (Tlingit)

Object Place: Stikine region, Alaska, United States


29.21 x 12.7 x 11.11 cm (11 1/2 x 5 x 4 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cedar, pigment, hair, metal, and rock material

Not On View


Americas, Musical Instruments



Ovoid form in two parts, filled with pebbles, with cylindrical handle. Largely natural-colored wood with stylized, painted male face. Wide, arched, black eyebrows, pursed red lips, and four tufts of hair at the top of the head.


Probably collected in Alaska by Captain Ira Harris (b. about 1843) and passed by descent to his grandson, Thomas Willins, and his wife, Lillian Willins, Bridgton, ME; consigned by Thomas and Lillian Willins to George Morrill (auctioneer); not sold by Morrill, and consigned to Gerald Bell (auctioneer), Falmouth, ME; November 14, 1992, sold by Bell at the Italian Heritage Center, Portland, ME, to Thomas Degnan and Nancy Walker, Rhode Island; January 9, 1993, sale (consigned by Degnan and Walker), Skinner, Bolton, MA, lot 351, to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993)

Credit Line

Seth K. Sweetser Fund