Eagle Bone Whistle
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Plains Indian Eagle Bone Whistle, Mandan

Plains Indian Eagle Bone Whistle, Mandan

Mandan

Warriors wore whistles made from various animal bones, depending upon which society to which they belonged. The whistles were worn into battle and the sound made when the whistles were blown imitated the shrill screech of an eagle. The whistle’s scream represented the courage of an eagle during its unswerving dive upon a prey and thereby symbolized the bravery as a warrior charged the enemy in battle.

The whistle has blue trade beads wrapped around the an ulna bone and the buckskin loops. The loops originally had bird and porcupine quill-wrapped sections, but wool moths eventually ate all the quills except those on the bottom loops. The sun bleached the dark, smoked hide areas that were not quill-wrapped to produce the light-colored sections adjacent to the former covered areas.

#02

Plains Indian Eagle Bone Whistle, Mandan

 

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