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Gourd peyote rattle with trimmed lower edge decorated in eight v-notches / Unknown


Gourd rattle of bell gourd, trimmed lower edge with 8 v-notches. Gourd is undecorated. Handle held in place by wood disc inside lower end of gourd, the wood is now shrunk and loose, the spike protrudes about 1 1/2" from the top of the gourd with a diameter of 3/16". Handle has 3 main design bands. The top band is crosshatched. The center band has a quarter moon over tipi, Christing cross over anhinga bird. The lower band has 3 panels, diamonds, crosshatching, and half diamonds. Each section is carved to slightly bulge and is separated by rings, design is incised. Handmade white buckskin fringe inserted into hole in handle butt, 11 fringes. Spike cover of "Comanche brick" style beadwork over leather tube. Beads: light blue background, symmetrical design in red, yellow, brown. Diamonds in center with bands at edges. Red and light blue beads are cut beads. Trimmed band of gray rabbit fur above beadwork. Red commercial hackle tips at base of while horsehair with a few brown and black hairs. Possibly glass rhinestones and pebbles in gourd.

Curatorial Remarks

Every participant in a meeting would have their own rattle, but women may not be full members of the Native American Church. The men would sing while using their rattle, and one drummer (man) would play along. Rattles are private property. Most native groups use gourds for rattles, but they may also use turtle shells or other hollow vessels. Some groups carve rattles from wood or create basketry rattles. The top of the rattle may represent a symbolic Native American person.

Tags: Peyote, gourd, Rattle
People: Cheyenne
Places: Plains, Oklahoma
Purpose: ceremonial use

From interviews with Dr. Garrick Bailey, 2018-2020 University of Tulsa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

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Gourd peyote rattle with trimmed lower edge decorated in eight v-notches
Native American; Cheyenne
20th century
gourd, wood, glass, hide, fur, feathers, horsehair, stone
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