Are you looking for a really unusual gift idea? I found one at a non-profit Mennonite store in University City, Missouri, Plowsharing Crafts. I spotted this object in the musical instruments section of the store. It looked like an animal’s jawbone. The proprietor told me that it was, indeed, “a jawbone of an ass.” He advised that it was made in Peru by artists who were paid a living wage for their work.
I asked whether it was really an instrument, and he told us that it was. I was instructed to hit the side of the jawbone to make a percussion sound. He added, “If you hit it correctly, you can even make the teeth rattle.” He was correct.
Fast forward to today: A good friend of mine is now the proud owner of his own “jawbone of an ass.” Now he needs to figure out where to sign up for jawbone of an ass lessons. To my relief, he had never before received a jawbone of an ass as a gift.
Before I bought this unique item, I was already aware that the jawbone of an ass was described as a weapon in the Bible. See Judges 15:
15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.
15:16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
15:17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.
Therefore, my friend will also need to check with his local law enforcement agency to determine whether he needs a license to carry a concealed jawbone of an ass.