EN | ES 


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 trumpet, made as a reproduction by the ceramist and musicologist from Cusco, José Vitancio Umeres, as part of his study of pre-Columbian musical artifacts. This wind instrument (aerophone) existed to the south west of the city of Trujillo between the years 100 B.C. and 700 A.C., while it was the Moche civilization that settled in the valleys of the north coast of present-day Peru. 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.

The trumpet is one of the most interesting musical objects of the Moche culture. This specifically consists of a tubular section that is screwed like a cornet and a horn shaped like a feline's head. Although it is true, the spiral shape is typical of the Mochica trumpets, as well as its sculptural character and its bicolor coloring, which is why it is also named bichrome ceramic. The painted decoration uses the two typical colors of Moche pottery, white, which is cream or suede, and brown, which varies around red ocher and burnt sienna.

In Mochica iconography, trumpets, like pututos, were manipulated by warriors and priests during combat activities, sacrifice, and burial rituals. Thus, each type of trumpet would be related to a specific context, be it ceremonial, warlike or ritual; that is, attention was focused on the iconographic or symbolic content in such a way that form, function and sound were intertwined.

Regarding the figure of the jaguar (Panthera onca), as the main representative of “the feline” in the Mochica civilization, it is known that it has been a protagonist in all areas of ethnic expression also throughout the continent. Societies have historically used feline iconography as metaphorical means to express human qualities and symbolize social relationships, and the musical sphere is another of the areas where feline iconography has become present. As for the sound it emits, it covers three specific notes: MI, FA and SI (E, F and B).

Finally, it must be said with respect to the Mochica trumpets that there are still many to be examined and collected but that those that have been seen are already enough to verify the immense advancement of music, especially among the inhabitants of the Mochica culture of Peru.

Origin: Mochica Culture
Measurements: 8 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm
Weight: 1,15 kg
SKU: 0377

$ 320.00