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Horseshoe Sistrum 001560

  • $ 3900


These Sistrum-style shakers are crafted from used, cleaned horseshoes. Sistrums are one of the oldest musical instruments, shaken during religious ceremonies, invoking and signaling the presence of the divine. They are part of our Witch Doctor collection as the traditional uses of shakers includes clearing space of negative influences and entraining the human nervous system into Altered/Shamanic States of Consciousness.

The sound is similar to a tambourine without a skin, but you can hold one in each hand (even very different sounding ones) to create syncopated patterns. The ones with little space left on the wire provide a very controlled, tight sound (tighter than you can create with a tambourine); the ones with more space or larger zils are louder. I'm really getting a surprising range of sounds! The bone discs soften the sound a tiny bit. The round beads are primarily decorative.

The horseshoe has long been a symbol of good fortune and protection against evil. The blacksmith in many traditions has long been associated with magic due to the primal and elemental nature of his craft; the 10th Century St. Dunstan was a blacksmith and the story goes that the devil (who had cloven hooves, not feet) appeared and demanded to be shoed. Dunstan seized the moment, and fulfilled the devil's request, but intentionally used nails too long or too hot or both, and would only remove the shoes if the devil vowed to never cross a threshold protected by a horseshoe. 

Materials:
Aluminum horseshoe;
steel tambourine jingles (6 pairs)
Batik Cow Bone beads from Kenya
steel wire
Elk hide rawhide lace.