- Label Text
- Sistra, rattles with strung disks, have been dated back to ancient Sumeria, Babylonia and Egypt. It appears that they spread from Egypt north to Greece and Rome and south into Ethiopia. Today sistra are used during the services and processions of the Ethiopian Orthodox church. They may be used by clerics and congregation. The handles may be wood, ivory or metal; the pierced sides may be copper alloy, white metal or silver. This example shows varying amount of wear on the disks, suggesting a lengthy period of use and replacement parts.
- Sistrum composed of a cylindrical wood handle that fits into a cylindrical socket that holds a squared U form of pierced copper alloy. Three disks are strung on iron rods across the U to form a rattle.
- Data Source
- National Museum of African Art
- Ethiopian Orthodox
- Early 20th century
- Credit Line
- Gift of an anonymous donor in memory of Louis Gilden
- Wood, copper alloy, iron
- H x W x D: 20.5 x 8 x 4.4 cm (8 1/16 x 3 1/8 x 1 3/4 in.)