Native American Rattles
A Native American Craft for Kids
Materials for Native American Rattles:
- Soda cans, clean and dry
- Large nail
- Small dowels appx. 11” long
- Construction paper
- Masking Tape
- Markers or crayons
Decorative items if desired:
- Yarn or string
Directions for Native American Rattles:
- Remove the pop top from the cans
- Using the hammer and large nail punch a hole in the bottom of the can
and another one in the center of the top of the can.
- Add beans
- Tape over the original cans opening and tape around the dowel entrance
and exit points.
- Have students design the rattle cover with Native designs or pictures. It’s always easier if the paper is precut.
- Glue designed paper to can and add decorative items to the top dowel, if desired.
Native American Design Reference Sites
Native Indian Gourd Rattles
Source: Kumeyaay Indians
Native American Designs
This site has a great collection of designs with very good background on each of the patterns.
Native American Designs and Colors – Natural Dyes
Learn the sumbolism behind various colors in Native American art.
Source: Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs
What Does this Indian Symbol Mean?
“Over the years, both Native American designs (merely decorative forms) and symbols (a sign representing an idea, a quality or an association) have been subject to “interpretation” by non-Indian dealers and traders. Often, these interpretations are explained in terms of Anglo-European concepts that were nonexistent to the Native American. The result frequently bears little or no relationship to the true meaning of the symbols.”
Source: Wingspread Guides of New Mexico