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date: 11 July 2020

Kanó’oskae’ [ka:nóˀskä:ˀ]locked

  • Mary Riemer-Weller
  • , revised by J. Richard Haefer



Rasp, or scraper, of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederation peoples of northeastern North America. It is called gaksaga:nye (‘chipmunk sticks’) in Cayugan. It is a pair of flat hickory sticks, each about 30 to 35 cm long, 1 to 3 cm wide, and 2 cm thick. One stick is notched along two-thirds of its length and the other is smooth with slightly rounded edges. The notched stick is held at its unnotched end while the notched end rests on the player’s left leg. The smooth stick, held in the right hand, is scraped up and down over the notches. The sticks produce a rasping sound in the same rhythm as the water drum ka’nohko’wah that leads the singing.

Rasping sticks are used only at wakes, held in people’s homes, and even here their use is quite rare, with preference given to the drum. The sticks are either buried with the person for whom the wake is held or are broken and burned with the drum-beater used during the singing....

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