Bell rattle

Unknown people
mid-20th century

Object Place: Possibly Senegal or Cameroon


Length 38 cm, width 5.5 cm (Length 14 15/16 in., width 2 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Leather, vegetable fiber, seashells, seed beads, bronze

Not On View


Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments



Body comprised of bundle of strips of animal skin, one half wrapped with twined plant fiber and burlap to form cigar-shaped handle. Seven longitudinal rows of cowrie shells tied along handle. Tied near lower end of handle are four small bronze bells, two loops of white seed beads, two loops of larger white beads, and piece of red yarn. Loop of twine at upper end of handle for carrying.


Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-1981), New York; 1981, by inheritance to her husband, Joseph R. Coolidge (1916-1999), New York; 1985, gift of Coolidge, Cushing, Maine, to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 27, 1985)

Credit Line

Gift of Joseph R. Coolidge in memory of his wife, Peggy Stuart Coolidge