The bones are a folk musical instrument which consist of wooden sticks shaped like rib bones. The bones were probably brought to America by Irish immigrants. The bones are an ancient instrument and have been played throughout history. Bones were played in China before 3000 BC, in ancient Egypt, in ancient Greece and Rome, and in Medieval Europe. More recently, bones’ playing was very popular during the time of the old minstrel shows in the late 1800’s. Today the bones are commonly played in many forms of traditional music, including zydeco, French Canadian, Irish, and bluegrass.
Here is a nice example of playing the bones that we found on youtube…
They are played by holding them between your fingers, convex surfaces facing one another, and moving the wrist in such a way that they knock against each other. The customary method involves placing the bones to either side of the middle finger with two-thirds of their length extending along the palm while the remainder protrudes above the fingers on the backside of the hand.
We have several different styles in the Wild Mountain shop.