The spoons are a percussion instrument that originated in Ireland as 'bones' – literally the convex sides of a pair of sheep rib bones that were rattled together. In more recent times 'playing the bones' has developed into 'playing the spoons'. A pair of desert spoons (or similar) are held with concave sides facing out and with a finger between their handles to keep them apart. When the pair is struck, the spoons hit each other and then spring back to their original position. The spoons are typically struck against the knee and the palm of the hand but the fingers and other body parts may also be used as striking surfaces to produce different sounds.