Collections Corner – Smith – Turtle Shell Rattle


1 in stock

1 in stock

Artist: Unknown Cherokee Artist

Culture: Cherokee, Oklahoma

Description: The handle of the rattle is a wooden stick wrapped in leather with two fully articulated turtle shells attached. The shells are attached with sinew at the top of the stick facing away from each other. Turtle shells and gourds were filled with small pebbles to make rattles used in Cherokee dances. Some turtle shell rattles were attached to sticks and held in the hand while others were strapped to the lower legs of women dancers. The shells came from the eastern box turtle, or terrapin, which the Cherokee called “daksi”. Smith inventory indicates “Tallequah”. This may indicate the rattle was acquired in Thlequah, OK, the home of the Cherokee Nation. There is also a Cherokee Museum there.

Size: 13.5in high x 4.5 in wide

Item: S.M-05