Vessel rattle

Possibly Kwakiutl people
19th century

Object Place: British Columbia, Canada


Length 21.2 cm, diameter 13.1 cm, thickness 8.5 cm (Length 8 3/8 in., diameter 5 3/16 in., thickness 3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, cedar bark

On View

Native North America Gallery (Gallery LG34)


Musical Instruments



Flattened spherical body constructed of two hollowed out halves of softwood, tied together in four places with sinew, knots covered by tufts of shredded cedar bark. Each side carved with face, one side incorporating shark’s gills and opposite side incorporating whale’s tail. Painted red, green, and black. Integral wood handle bound with strips of split spruce root. Stones (?) inside.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection