Chief Raven Dance Rattle, masterpiece of art by Randy Stiglitz (Video)
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Chief Raven Rattle - Raven bringing sunlight - by Randy Stiglitz from the Coast Salish First Nation
These rattles are so rare and only a true master of this art can manage this high level of craftsmanship. Many month of work went into this piece. Please have a close look at all the details, this piece really exceeds all expectations one can have...
Raven rattles such as this one were used by a chief in ceremonies. The basic form is that of the Raven holding a small object in its beak, in reference to the Raven's bringing sunlight to mankind. On the Raven's breast is the image of Konankada. Up to this point of comparison, the symbols are parallel to those of the Chilkat blanket; that is, the image of Raven centered by that of Konankada. The symbolism of the Raven rattle, however, elaborates upon this basic reference to the first potlatch. On the Raven's back is a small frog, whose extended tongue is joined to that of a larger wolf. The woodpecker is shown behind the back of the little one. The handle of the raven is showing another Raven head.
These rattles are complex in their meaning and as yet have not been fully decoded. A possible clue is provided by the Tsimshian myth about the Raven who returns to earth after stealing the sun from the Sky Chief and lands on his back in Prince Rupert harbor (where a large petroglyph marks the spot). The Raven is freed from the rock by a flicker, which uses its sharp tongue to free it. Another Tsimshian myth tells of how the first Raven rattle was brought up on the hook of a fisherman from the Skeena River; from there, its use spread to other people on the north coast. The Haida themselves have no such origin myths and probably received the Raven rattle through prehistoric trade with the mainland.
Raven rattles were usually used on the coast to mark the start of salmon runs into the rivers. The swishing noise of the rattles is said to sound like the fins of salmon breaking the surface of the water, which encourages the fish to come past the villages.
The sound is just perfect, it also has a peg on a small opening which can be removed. This openenig was used to change the sound by removing or adding some of the little stones inside the rattle to adjust the sound as needed.
The Rattle is inlaid with Abalone, ist standing on a driftwood base - just awesome, oh and of course it's signed by the artist.
Measurements: Rattle: 17" x 6 1/2" x 7", Base: 21" x 9" x 4"
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