The word ‘sistrum’ in Ancient Egyptian means ‘to vibrate’. This was another instrument closely associated with Hathor and it originated from the ritual of cutting papyrus stems and rattling them together in a rhythmic fashion. This represented ‘opening your heart to Hathor’.
The sistrum was usually made of wood; however metal and ceramic were also used. The instrument was Y-shaped and had a metal band fixed between the stems, with smaller metal pieces secured to it. When shaken, this would produce a sound very much like the tambourine.