The horn rattle is used in ceremonial and social songs as a companion to the water drum. Ken makes Buffalo Horn rattles and Cow Horn rattles. He uses small non-lead BB's inside. The sound is louder, clearer and more consistent. The handles are made from various types of wood. Curly maple, cedar, cherry wood etc. The cow horns vary in colour but the buffalo horns are pure black.
The Snapping Turtle has been used by the Haudenosaunee for centuries. It is used for ceremonial songs only, not for social songs. It is also used by the False Face (Haduwi) society for healing rituals. The False Face Society is just one of the many curing societies found among the Iroquois. Members of the society put on the false faces to visit the lodge of a sick person who has declared themself in need of a cure. With their masks on, and shaking rattles made of the shell of snapping turtles the members who are to effect the cure, creep towards the sick persons home. They scrape their rattles against the door, and enter the house, continuing to shake the rattles. Then ashes and tobacco are used in a ritual meant to drive away the evil spirits and heal the sick person. Anyone who is cured becomes a member of the society, or a man or a woman may join if he or she has a dream about a False Face indicating that it is necessary to become a member .
The water drum sounds different from any other kind of drum. It is used for both ceremonial and social songs and is usually accompanied by the Horn Rattle. The base has a plug and is partially filled with water. Buckskin is stretched over the top. Ken uses hickory, cedar, or hard maple to make the Water Drum.