A Costa Rican Terracotta Bird Whistle, ca. 800 - 1500 CE
Object No: PT2002
In the shape of a bird standing on two legs, with two holes through the neck and two through the chest for variation in pitch when played.
Although numerous pottery instruments survive from pre-Conquest South and Central America, little is known of how they were used before Spanish invaders ravaged the native cultures. Whistles, trumpets, and rattles in animal or human form probably had ceremonial functions or served as playthings. Smaller whistles in animal shapes, perhaps worn suspended from the neck, sometimes have fingerholes that allow variation of pitch.
Dimensions: Length: 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm)
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Private DC collection, acquired from the Maryland trade in the 1980s.
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