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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Copper rattle consisting of two rounded pieces put together and inset into a cylindrical brown wood handle, creating a full rounded circular rattle surrounded by a circular red halo-like projection feature. Pieces are bolted together. Designs consisting of animal faces carved and painted on both sides. One face has black oval in oval eyes outlined by a tapering oval, red nostrils, and an open red mouth showing sixteen plain teeth. A small inward facing profile face is on top at either side. In between, there is a black split u with a green outlined u form and a black u form above. Underneath the mouth, there is a pair of inward pointing fins made of a black circle a green u form, and a black split u. The other face has a black ovoid in a green ovoid eyes, red nostrils, and an open black outlined red mouth showing two plain teeth. An inverted red u form that has a green oval within is on top at either side. In between, there is a black split u with a green u form and a pair of black split u's above. Underneath the mouth, there is a black circle at either side with curving engraved lines inward toward a black form that has a red centre in the middle.

History Of Use

According to M. Bronsden, this rattle could have been used in the Tsetseka among the Kwakwaka'wakw when the novices were initiated into the secret dancing societies. It may also figure in the copper ceremonies.

Cultural Context



According to Bill Holm, Willie Seaweed once owned and used this rattle. Apparently he is shown holding it in a William Heick photo and it also appears in Heick’s film "Dances of the Kwakiutl" (1951), laying on the floor during Joe Seaweed's Bukwus dance.
There is some uncertainty as to whether Seaweed made the rattle himself. Holm writes: "...although the composition and much of the detail is clearly Seaweed style, there are small details that are unlike anything of his I have seen...but on the whole I believe that it is a late Willie Seaweed piece, with some embellishments that are very unusual for him."

Item History

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