Raven rattle - ROM2005_5287_1


Raven rattle

Maker: Nisga'a
Medium:Painted wood
Geography: Gitwinksihlkw, Nass River, British Columbia, Canada
Date: early 20th century
12 × 33 × 11 cm
Object number: 929.21.41
On view
Gallery Location:Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture
DescriptionOn this Nisga’a rattle, Raven (the transformer) carries a box of sunlight in its beak symbolizing the liberation of light and the creation of order from chaos. The reclining figure on the raven’s back represents a guardian spirit quest by an initiate, referring to the use of the rattle by chiefs during initiation ceremonies. Here, the officiating chief receives daylight from Raven and is enlightened as the initiate, in turn, is enlightened.
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