Sistrum


Artist
Ethiopian (Ethiopian)
Date
Circa 1971
Medium
Brass, wood, steel
Dimensions
Work : 8 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 in. (22.23 x 8.25 x 5.08 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
Object Number
2018.25.36

Label
Originating in ancient Egypt, a sistrum is a percussion instrument used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to establish a cadence for liturgical chants and dances. It typically has a U-shaped metal frame with horizontal crossbars and metal rings that create clanking or jangling sounds when shaken. Many of the religious songs and dances in which sistra are used today are credited to the 6th-century priest and musician Saint Yared.