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Image Permission of
Tara Prindle, NativeTech.org


Making A Buzzer With Cordage

Buzzers have been made for thousands of years, both as toys and as noise makers. The Shoshoni and Bannock Peoples made buzzers from the patella of a deer, or the astragulas bone from a deer's foot.

The "Button on a String" toy is related to the Buzzer.

Making a Buzzer is fun. Follow these instructions:

1. You will need a length of cordage about 20 - 36 inches long.

You can use cotton string, or make your own cordage from plant fibers, such as dogbane.
Go to: Cordage Production to review how to make cordage.

You can also make cordage from raffia. Raffia is found at most craft stores. You will need to soak the raffia in water.
Go to: Cordage Preparation to review the process of retting.

2. You will need a large button, 2 inches in diameter, with two holes.
Or, if you know someone who hunts deer, use the deer's patella for your buzzer.

You will need to drill two holes in the deer patella.
Go to: Drill Making to review how a drill was made.

3. Thread your cordage through
the two holes in the buzzer.

4. Tie a square knot in the cordage
to form a circle.

5. Hold the ends of the loop of cordage, with the buzzer
in the middle.

6. Twist the cordage tightly.

7. Pull your hands apart, and let the cordage untwirl. Then, relax your hands to allow the cordage to twist again.

8. Pull and relax the cordage quickly, the speed will twirl the buzzer and make the buzzing sound.