Double Whistle


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

The production of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ceramic figures in Central and South America originated about 6,500 years ago in the Andes region of Colombia, then spread along the west coast, from Ecuador to northern Chile and Argentina, and finally farther north into Central America. Rattles and whisltes, made in a variety of sizes and forms, sometimes imitated the sounds of the creature represented.

This pottery whistle is in the form of a bird standing on two legs and a tail. It is a double whistle, with two internal and separate sounding chambers. The lower chamber, located in the body of the bird, is sounded through a mouthpiece located in the tail. This chamber has a single finger hole on the front of the bird's belly allowing for two pitches to be produced. A second, smaller, chamber is found in the head of the bird and is activated through a mouthpiece protruding from behind the ears. (J. Kenneth Moore, 2000)

Double Whistle, Pottery, paint, Mayan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.