The rattle is important in various Native American ceremonies. Traditionally, they are made from things such as rawhide, deer hooves, turtle shells or gourds. You can easily obtain an ornamental gourd from an arts and crafts store, grocery store or farmer’s market. Just make sure it‘s totally dried before you use it. A dry gourd is light and dry to the touch, and sometimes you can hear seeds rattle inside.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 ornamental gourd, dried (preferably baseball size and smooth)
- 1 1⁄4-inch-diameter dowel or stick, 14 inches long
- Dry popcorn kernels or small
- 1⁄8-inch and 1⁄4-inch drill bits
- 1 12-inch-long coat hanger wire
- Woodworking glue
- Paint (optional)
- Thin leather lace (optional)
What You’ll Do:
1) Carefully drill a 1⁄4-inch hole in the base of the gourd. Don’t drill too fast or the gourd can split. Ask an adult for help or permission if you are new to power tools.
2) Take the coat hanger wire and scrape out the seeds and membrane.
6) Put the stick back in place and carefully glue at each of the joints. Don’t play until completely dry.
Though painting and wrapping it with leather is a nice touch, the rattle is complete as is. If you use the leather lace, wrap a thin coil around the top and bottom of the gourd where the stick joins, and then glue the leather in place. Another attractive addition is wrapping leather around the handle to make a firmer grip.