By: 
Melissa Ray
 Updated: 
Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park Music-Makers

In this video, meet Park Interpreter Melissa Ray from Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park and learn how to recreate the rhythmic sound of American Indian rattles. They are simple to make but deep in meaning. 

Located just a few miles south of the city lights of Little Rock, Toltec Mounds provides an escape into Arkansas’s prehistoric past. This ceremonial mound site offers walking trails for you to explore an archeological site hosting the tallest American Indian mound ever built in Arkansas, plus a museum displaying artifacts from over 1,000 years ago. The park strives to protect this archeology for future generations by giving visitors unique educational and recreational opportunities. 

This video aims to connect you to the American Indian culture of the Southeastern United States through music-making. Discover how indigenous people made their musical instruments over 1,000 years ago, and how you can make your very own American Indian-style turtle rattle out of household materials today.  

If you choose to make a rattle of your own, challenge yourself to dive deeper into American Indian culture and music. Create a song to go along with your rattle or research more about American Indian musical instruments. Come visit the park to show your rattle song to a park interpreter, explore the site, and then visit the gift shop with American Indian flutes, drums, and rattles for sale.  

With adult supervision, you can even post a photo of your completed rattle on social media by using #ARStateParks or by using our photo/video uploader below. We will look forward to it! 

Toltec Turtle Shell Rattle Outline
Monday, February 01, 2021

Upload photos of your completed rattle