Monthly Archives: November 2012

Randy’s Gourd Rattle (Made From A TVD Kit)


rattle in motion
Randy’s rattle

It’s always so great to see what other seekers can do with a rattle kit from Thunder Valley Drums. This comes from Randy, a Floridian, who purchased the kit a few months ago. He chose a natural approach to leave the gourd unpainted and to show its own beautiful patina. He even made it so that he could loosen the handle in order to change sounders, thus changing the rattle’s voice whenever he wants, a very neat idea! I’ll let him explain
more (excerpts from two separate emails):

“Greetings Shaman Bob,

“I finished the ‘Owl Rattle’ and attached a couple pictures. I kind of did my own thing though. Sounders are fossil sharks teeth (found in the Peace River), one turquoise nugget, one emerald chip, some gourd seeds and a bit of whole leaf sage. Wonderful entrancing sound. The cross pieces are bamboo and are removable so the handle can come out and the sounders could be replaced with a different mix if need be. There is a thin hemp line running from one cross piece to the other which are strung with turquoise and “cheerios” found in the Peace River. ‘Cheerios’ are natural bone or pebbles with a hole in them. They are believed to have been worn by local Native American tribes over the ages. On top of the rattle are two bigger ‘cheerios’ bound by leather lacing. There are two feathers placed in bamboo twigs and strung on hemp line with turquoise, bone Owl totem beads, turquoise Butterfly totem bead, bone Turtle totem bead, and a hand rolled Pipestone bead.

“I enjoyed the process. No birds were harmed as they had passed on to the other world. Ceremony was performed to honor their gifts to this world. Purely to honor them and their spirit.


He mentions the “Cheerios” on his rattle, which were believed to be worn by Native Americans like beads. The same beliefs can be found here in Kentucky, where there are lots of such fossils in local streams. I believe their scientific name is “crinoids,” which the University of Kentucky (link to article will open in new window) says are also called “sea lilies.” Some still grow in the world’s oceans, according to the U of K.

Great job, Randy, you made a beautiful and sacred gourd rattle. Thanks so much for sharing your photo! (I added the special effects to the photo, by the way, that seemed to put the rattle in motion.)

Aho & Namaste,


TVD's gourd rattle kit
You can learn more about the Thunder Valley Drums “Gourd Rattle Kit” here.

When you buy a kit, you automatically receive a FREE eBook to help you make the rattle.