Native American Sticks
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Talking sticks were ceremonial items that were used in Native North American Indian tribe council meetings. They were used as a courtesy not to interrupt a chief when he was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the each council member who wished to speak. In order to show significance, the talking stick was decorated with eagle feathers and crystals to show its significance.
Today, it is used still by many groups, especially in groups of children or adults who need help preventing discussions from degenerating into loud often times harsh language with everyone interrupting.
Most people would say that you cannot have a Powwow without a drum because it carries the heartbeat of the Indian nation. The powwow drum or drum also carries the heartbeat of Mother Earth, and calls the spirits and nations together.
The Powwow drum has a large base covered with some type of hide. Eight or more men form a circle around the drum and strike it in unison with covered mallets.
The men blend their voices with the beating of the Powwow Drum to create a song in the Indian language of the powwow drum members. The drum members and the lead singer must be able to sing and play any song that is requested by the master of ceremonies or the arena director for any given event.
The rainstick is a long, hollow tube that is filled with small baubles such as beads, rice, cactus needles, or beans and has small pins arranged helically on its inside surface. When the rainstick is upended, the items inside fall to the other end of the tube and make a sound reminiscent of a rainstorm as they bounce off the pins.
Generally, the rainstick is used to create atmospheric sound effects or as a percussion instrument.
The rainstick is considered to have been invented in South America's Chile, and was played in the belief that it could bring about rainstorms.
Turtle Shell Rattle
The turtle shell rattle is used in the Turtle Shell dance as an accompaniment to the singing and to mark the time. In most Native American Indian dances, except for the war dance, the singers are seated in the center of the room, and the dancers pass by them in an arched line. The Turtle Shell dancers strike upon a bench with their turtle shell rattles as they pass by while singing. Sometimes, the striking may be as frequent as three times per second.