Shaman's Rattle. Bird & Shaman.
19th c Native American Tlingit Sculpture
(active 18th c ? - present)
Northwest Coast. United States.
Kansas City. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Fine Arts.
This shaman's rattle is in the shape of the raven, who played an important role in the belief system of peoples of the Northwest Pacific Coast. The man reclining on the raven's back is sucking a poison believed to give shamans the power to work spells. The raven played two roles, one as transformer of the world, the other as trickster. In one of the cosmological legends, Raven drew the land up out of the water by spearing it with his beak, and thus made it habitable for human beings. Like Prometheus, he stole light from heaven for human beings, but he also loved to play jokes and to trick people. The trickster, who appears in many cultures, is both creator and destroyer.
TLINGIT | Shaman's Rattle. Bird & Shaman. | 19 c | Native American | Tlingit