Instruments

Symbolism | Purpose | Rattle | Drum | Air Instruments

Air Instruments

Bullroarer
This instrument is a boy's toy that is said to produce wind because it sounds like the wind. It is part of the Ghost Dance and is sometimes used to start the singing. The instrument should be swung rapidly in a circle by the handle to make a loud noise like distant thunder, the bellowing of a bull, or howling. The Bullroarer is made from a flat piece of bone about 2X4 inches attached to a piece of string and a wooden handle.

Bone-buzzer or hummer
This instrument is used in the Ghost Dance. It is made from bone. The hummer is tied to 2 strings and a wooden handle. The strings round around each other and then when pulled apart rapidly, they cause bone to rotate and produce a buzzing sound

One-tone whistles
These whistles are usually made from an eagle bone; 4-7 inches long. It is used In Sun Dance and some age-grade ceremonies by dancers. During the Peyote ceremony it is used at midnight to mimic an eagle's cry. The whistle used in the Ghost Dance is 2 times the size of a standard whistle.

 

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