Musical Instruments main content.

Musical Instruments

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.


Collection Information

The Nuu-chah-nulth used music only in ceremonies. They had three types of musical instruments: rattles, drums, and whistles. Rattles were made of shell, deer hoofs (for the Ghost Dance), mountain sheep horn (for curing rituals), and wood carved into bird-like forms (for all ceremonies). Of the many kinds of drums, only one is shown here: the single-headed tambourine used to accompany singing during a popular gambling game. Whistles of various kinds were used in the Shaman’s Dance.