There were a number of clapping toys made around 364 BC. They were given to guard the children and drive away evil spirits. In Greece the rattles imitated the noise of a snake and in Rome the priests used a sistrum in their sacred ceremonies to Isis.
In the middle ages rattles were used to call the faithful to prayer during Lent when the ringing of bells was forbidden.
This toy is a copy of one given to children in Japan. The lion has guardian duties not only of people but also inanimate objects such as the temples.
Red is chosen for girls, it being an active colour. Black, a passive colour, is given to boys.
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