NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN VERY RARE, musical instrument known as an "effigy rasp". Beautifully hand carved and whittled from tree limbs, these two "sticks" have been empowered and blessed by important animal spirits or "effigies". The rasp is basically a notched stick that makes a different noise or sound when another stick is scraped against the notches. While I am not sure which tribe created this rasp, I do know that I have only seen a few, they are normally in museums and are quite often attributed to the Utes or pueblo cultures. In research I learned the Utes refer to this type of instrument as a "Bear Growler" because it can imitate a bear when played correctly. Hopis have used rasps in their turtle dances and brief references have been made to native rasps in historical accounts among other tribes. The rasp can also be laid upon the head of a tribal drum and played to create a different sound. The maker of this rasp has chosen to pay respect and honor the creatures he has carved: Possibly an eagle, but a bird of prey, two turtles, one of which is a snapping turtle, and possibly a centipede or a very intelligent looking snail. The maker made a perfect hand hold with one of the turtles, a hand fits perfectly.
CONDITION: Very good, shows signs of use on the notches and handling patina on both pieces. The bird of prey's tail shows some minor nicks, but all other creatures are good. No repairs that I can detect
SIZE: Notched piece is almost 13" long from tip of turtle to nose of snail and almost 4" tall from base to tip of turtle. Bird of Prey piece is almost 12 1/4" in length and 1 1/2" tall. The diameter of the "sticks" is almost 1/2" with all the carvings being of the same piece of wood.
CIRCA: We have owned and enjoyed for over 30 years, it was and is exactly the same as when we purchased. We purchased from a collector and he believed it to be from the late 1800's early 1900's. Of course the wood could be older, it is a hard wood, has dark and golden coloring, a faint trace of red in some of the grooves and then is almost black where it has been handled.
Thank you for your interest! This unique piece of Native Americana would be beautiful on its own stand and displayed as it would look if being played! It will be packed carefully!
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