Not long after the initial stress of my mother’s passing, the order of rattles I had been trying to get from Peru since December arrived. The poor mailman handed me this package that looked like a ball instead of the usual neat rectangle, and there were parts of it that stuck out sharply—handles of rattles poked through sheets of colorful stamps. While deconstructing the package with a surgeon’s precision it appeared that massive amounts of tape was truly the only thing holding the whole together. So many rattles had been put in a box too small to hold them all that the box had been tenderized by rattle massage!
Ordering from Peru is like nowhere else—you rarely get exactly what you ask for. This time I got rattles in designs I had not anticipated, and the sheer number was staggering. Final count, almost 200 (even with the loss of several due to the creative packaging). I had originally ordered about 75, then I was talked into 150, and what happened after that I have no idea (-:
Suffice it to say that my bookkeeper, Hiroe, was treated to the unforgettable scenario of my floor strewn with rattles. It was like a demented version of the old game show Concentration as I tried to recall which pile contained Dolphin/Parrot/Toucan (with the exception of the Four Directions or Archetypes, each rattle has three different designs).
There were so many rattles that when they were finally all in neatly labeled boxes my closet looked like a retail outlet storeroom, Rattles ‘R Us. Combined with my pre-existing inventory I may now have the single largest stash of Peruvian gourd rattles in the U.S.!
They are gorgeous—this batch was carved by an artist from the Amazon jungle. The sweeping lines of the Hummingbird design are stunning. Other designs include: Condor, Serpent, Jaguar, Dolphin, Owl, Toucan, Parrot, Turtle, Butterfly—and two truly unusual ones—Tapir and Armadillo! And each of the rattles sports a unique topknot of braided ties and brilliantly colored feathers from jungle birds. When shaken the feathers weave a beautiful visual of shamanic energy.
And the rattles have traveled far. I am told that they were carried through the jungle, in this case during the heavy rains, to the Amazon River. They are then brought by canoe to a small village, then to a large city where they are finally put in a box for mailing to the U.S. All that, and no fancy packaging materials—it is nothing short of a miracle that only five arrived broken!
And, if that was not enough, I have beautiful inlaid sterling silver jewelry in the form of pendants or pins. Designs include Hummingbird, Dragonfly, Chacana with Three Archetypes, Ayahuasca, and more.
UPDATE: I no longer carry rattles or other Peruvian shamanic supplies and crafts. Instead visit Shaman’s Market, they are Fair Trade and ethically sourced.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.