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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Miscellaneous : Phallic-Shaped Flute
Phallic-Shaped Flute - PF.4054
Origin: Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 500 AD
Dimensions: 8.5" (21.6cm) high
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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During an era when the family was a crucial part of life and maintaining the patrilineal bloodline was of utmost importance, the idea of human sexuality and fertility played a large role in life. To promote this awareness and importance, various objects were created, as symbols of the progression of life and eternity. This phallus- shaped flute is a part of this idea. In design, the flute is very simple, offering only the simplest of notes with only three holes to change the sound. The craftsman made the piece with solid and heavy earthenware, while maintaining the subtle polychrome color, so as not to distract from its actual function. Fertility and the continuation of the bloodline were extremely important during a time of tribal communities and settlements. This instrument demonstrates the importance and the visibility of the issue. Modesty was not important, unlike today perhaps, thus opening us up and introducing us to an entirely new and different mentality, where survival of the people was the most important thing. - (PF.4054)


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