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Drums were the main instrument used in singing, dances and celebrations, as well as at religious ceremonies.

Flutes made from elderberry stems with six finger holes were also produced and were a favourite among the tribe; whistles of bone (particularly eagle bone) were used by warriors for protection in battle.

Before the 1800s a type of rasp made from a serrated stick scraped with a bone was used instead of the drum, but by the early 1800s drums were widely used instead. The drums used in ceremonies gradually got bigger and bigger, until by the 1890s they were large enough for 8 drummers to sit around.

Nez Perce shamans used rattles of deer hooves tied to a stick, later replaced by small bells obtained in trade.

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Q: How did the nez perce make music?
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