What Was a Rattle Made of in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, rattles were used for various purposes such as music, worship, and even as toys for children. But have you ever wondered what materials were used to make these rattles? Let’s dive into the history of rattles and explore the different materials that were used to create them.

The Early Days of Rattles

Rattles have been around for thousands of years and were used by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. The earliest form of a rattle was made by filling a hollowed-out gourd with small stones or seeds. These early rattles were used in religious ceremonies and were believed to ward off evil spirits.

Materials Used for Rattles

As time progressed, different cultures began using a variety of materials to make rattles.

Bone: Bones from animals such as deer, buffalo, and cows were commonly used by Native American tribes to create rattles. The bones were filled with pebbles or beads and decorated with feathers or intricate carvings.

Clay: Clay was another material that was commonly used to make rattles. The clay was molded into various shapes such as animals or humans and filled with small stones or seeds. These types of rattles were often painted with bright colors.

Wood: Wood was also a popular material for making rattles. Different types of wood such as cedar, pine, and maple were often carved into intricate shapes and designs. The carved wood was then filled with small stones or beans.

Metal: In some cultures, metal was also used to create rattles. Silver or bronze was often hammered into thin sheets and shaped into different forms before being filled with seeds or small stones.

Rattle Designs

Rattles came in many shapes and sizes depending on their purpose. Some rattles were shaped like animals or humans, while others were simple and cylindrical. The designs often had cultural significance and were decorated with symbols and patterns that held spiritual meaning.


In conclusion, rattles have been an essential part of many cultures for thousands of years. They were used for various purposes such as music, worship, and even as toys.

The materials used to create these rattles differed depending on the culture, but all shared the same purpose of creating sound. Whether made from bone, clay, wood, or metal, rattles continue to be an important part of our world today.