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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Costa Rican Musical Instruments : Armadillo Effigy Ocarina
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Armadillo Effigy Ocarina - PF.3120
Origin: Costa Rica (Guanacaste)
Circa: 200 AD to 500 AD

Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: United States
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This armadillo is decorated with wide-incised lines filled in with little dots. The artist has paid special attention to create a pretty design on its body. This charming armadillo is so busy eating that it doesn't even have time to look up at us! The armadillo may represent a symbolically important animal to the Ancient Costa Ricans. 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. Ocarinas are the musical instruments of the New World and are found in high status tombs. This suggests use in a ritual context. Behind most developed prehistoric subsistence systems is a mythological framework. The mythological framework is the knowledge and perpetuation of explanations concerning the origins of their political and religious system and defines their rituals that formalize seasonal and other cyclical necessary procedures. The armadillo may be identified with an important function and purpose in the Costa Ricans' mythological framework. This special ocarina continues to carry on its importance and charm from ancient hands to the present. - (PF.3120)


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