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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Musical Instruments : Guanacaste-Nicoya Terracotta Avian Ocarina Whistle
Guanacaste-Nicoya Terracotta Avian Ocarina Whistle - PF.2977
Origin: Guanacaste, Nicoya, Costa Rica
Circa: 300 BC to 300 AD
Dimensions: 5.75" (14.6cm) high x 4.5" (11.4cm) wide
Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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Since the beginning of humanity, music has always captivated the mind, heart, and soul of the passionate listener. The Ocarina is a musical instrument of the New World. Ocarinas come in a variety of sizes, producing tones ranging from that of a tenor recorder to that of a shrill whistle. The mouthpiece and the size of the resonance chamber are modified to produce different tones. The largest examples sound like tenor recorders, somewhat less resonant than a low-register flute. This Avimorph Ocarina from the Guanacaste-Nicoya Zone is an exceptional example of Costa Rican bird-effigy Ocarinas due to the artist's careful attention to detail. Areas of fine, dentate rocker stamping, which distinguishes it from others, have surrounded the wide-incised lines. Most bird-effigy Ocarinas are decorated in the early Zoned Bichrome- Period Style with wide-incised lines, but very few include the areas of fine, dentate rocker stamping that this one displays. Although the bird-effigy Ocarinas are quite stylized, the avian models may have been of the family Caprimulgidae, perhaps whippoorwills. This Avimorph Ocarina has a perforation that allows it to be hung around the neck. Musicians and composers alike have been known to devote their entire lives until the very moment before death to play and compose music. Old World composers such as Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven are recorded in history as geniuses. Who were the musical geniuses of the New World who played the Ocarina? - (PF.2977)


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