Shawn Athari

Contemporary Glass Artist

Bear Claw Rattle

Origin: Pacific Northwest. This Rattle was one of the ceremonial treasures of the Nanyaayi chief, Shakes. The rattle was shaped like the broad fore feet of the grizzly, with the bony knuckles standing out on the back and massive claws arching upward over a human face. The face is tense and intent, smoothly carved of hard wood with the features painted on. Their form suggests a Tlingit origin, although there is some disagreement among historians as to the true attribution. Designed to be held in the hand, the rattles represent the upraised, threatening paws of the grizzly, the fearsome crest animal of the Nanyaayi. The intent was apparently to represent the bear's foot with a human face on the pad. This rattle mask was exhibited in the Alaska Building at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Done in various shades. Looks best in blue, green and red .
8x19 on 8x8 Plexiglas stand.