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Vessel rattle (kanyáhte' ká'nowa')

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Shell of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) with leg openings sewn shut with sinew and other cordage. Neck stretched out to form handle supported by three splints of ash (?) and wrapped with cotton cord and twine; head serves as knob at end. Chokecherry pips (?) inside.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

Seneca people, 19th century

Object Place

New York State, United States


Length 43.3 cm, width 17.5 cm, thickness 6.5 cm (length 17 1/16 in., width 6 7/8 in., thickness 2 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Turtle shell, elm wood


Musical Instruments


Musical instruments, Idiophones