"Orca Shaman Rattle Tlingit Culture, British Columbia, Canada"RATTLE of CHAMANE with the effigy of an ORCA
Tlingit culture, British Columbia, Canada
End of the 19th century
Wood and pigments
H.: 3.5; long. : 28 cm
This wooden rattle is carved in the round of an orca and enhanced with polychrome pigments. The killer whale is distinguished from the whale by its large dorsal fin. The latter is perforated with a circular hole. Its body is entirely incised with patterns referring to the eyes, teeth and fins. The pigments used to emphasize these relief details are predominantly green, black and red. The characteristic colors for the representation of this cetacean. The cylindrical handle in lighter wood is located at the level of the caudal fin of the animal.
The rattle is a musical instrument but above all an attribute of the shaman. It made it possible to call the spirits on the occasion of rites or ceremonial dances. The killer whale is an animal particularly present in the Tlingit culture. We find its representation as well on architectural facades, as caps or covers.
- Reproduced in the catalog of the exhibition "Bestiary of the World - Arts of the Distance", Abbaye de Cluny, May-June 2018, page 27.
-A similar copy is kept at the Maritime Museum in Haifa, Israel and reproduced in the book Eskimo and NW Indian Art at the National Maritime Museum Haifa, page 65. Text and photos © FCP CORIDON