African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Full view
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Closeup
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Metal Disk
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Main side view
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum center view
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum full view laying flat
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum laying flat left
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Top Closeup
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Top Closeup with bottlecaps
African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum Full view
West African

African Rattle - Snakeskin - Metal - Wood Sistrum

Regular price $ 110.00 $ 0.00 Unit price per
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This sistrum is an African ideophone, a musical instrument that creates sounds when waved to and fro. Used in religious rites in West Africa, they are used to accompany songs and dances.

This large handmade one has two parts that rattle. The Y-shaped fork of a tree branch supports two joined stem end halves of a calabash gourd, cut to bowl shapes that hold pebbles that are quite noisy when shaken. The gourd halves are held together with a strip of snakeskin and iron nails. A wire is stretched below that, looped onto the wooden branches and holding six flat, rusty bottle caps pierced in the centers. They make a metallic jingling sound when shaken.

This old African piece measures 15 inches long and a little over 6 inches across the gourd halves. They are each marked with the number 16, hand written in pencil, which may indicate that the two halves together equal 16 centimeters (6.29 inches). The instrument weighs 6 ounces and is in excellent condition with no damage. A handsome addition to a collection of African artifacts, it's an interesting conversation starter displayed on its own as art.

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