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History behind the piece

Archeology and ethno history show that the ancient inhabitants of Peru were very musical. In fact, our ancestors made a large number of ceremonial instruments, among which those dedicated to music stand out, many of which perished throughout history. However, the enormous effort of scholars and museum entities that diligently carried out restoration and study work have made it possible for a large number of pieces to be fully known today - in aesthetics and operation - not only for the enjoyment sound of the listener, but for the greater understanding of the musical world that has been gestated for millennia in our territory.

This is the case of this zoomorphic ocarina, made as a reproduction by the Cusco ceramist and musicologist José Vitancio Umeres as part of his study on pre-Columbian musical artifacts. This wind instrument (aerophone) that existed in the coastal valleys of the current department of Piura and in a small part north of Lambayeque between 150 B.C and 500 A.C. it belonged to the Vicus culture. This was an archaeological culture of ancient Peru about which many aspects have not been clarified. Unfortunately, the clandestine excavation has been of such scope that currently, with the objects found, it is impossible to have the information that archeology needs to proceed with an adequate reconstruction of the life of this town. However, ceramics are the main source of information about the Vicus.

It is known that during the pre-Hispanic period musical instruments were certainly significant objects, so much so that they became goods of power and wealth, since their manufacture implied the formation of a specialized workforce and a great demand in quality levels.

Ocarinas, in fact, are one of the most interesting musical objects found in the Vicus culture. As a general rule, made of clay or mud, they are usually presented in curious, elegant and colorful shapes, and it is known that in ancient times, together with whistles, rattles, pututos and trumpets, they had a strong ritual connotation. For example, the act of whistling was linked to the notions of sacrifice, human offerings and communication with the ancestors.

This specific ocarina represents a jaguar in a resting position whose body is shown as the instrument itself. It incorporates seven finger holes in different areas, which when covered with the fingers of both hands produce a sound that imitates the song of birds. In general, this, like other typical Vicus ceramics, is characterized by its massive and rustic appearance, and by its realistic and hieratic sculptural tendency. As for the painted decoration, it uses two colors: the natural color of the ceramic and white, which is cream or suede. Morphologically, this style is known as negative Vicus, which comprises simple circles that appear in containers with animal figures.

Origin: Vicus Culture
Measurements: 24 cm lenght x 15,2 cm height x 13,8 cm width
Weight: 0,840 kg
SKU: 0453-1

$ 320.00