Rattles were and are used in most ceremonies for a variety of reasons, by shaman in a curing ceremony and by attendants accompanying a dancer around the dance floor.
There are basically two shapes of rattles in this art form: globular, and those that are shaped as various animals.
Rattles are generally carved from hard wood such as yew, maple, or alder because the walls can be carved thinner, making for a better percussive sound (though it’s never very loud). The Gitk’san word for the round, or globular, rattle is “se’x se’x” (my spelling) and means the sound of the tide, which it can resemble as the rattle is rotated by the movement of the wrist, causing the beads or small pebbles on the inside to roll around inside. Rattles were used by shaman in their curing ceremonies and by attendants accompanying dancers in a ceremony.