Flower World - Mundo Florido, vol. 3

Music Archaeology of the Americas - Arqueomusicología de las Américas

Music of the Center Place: The Instruments of Chaco Canyon

Emily J. Brown

Chaco Canyon flourished as what is arguably pre-Hispanic New Mexico’s most hierarchical society between AD 850 and 1140. Recent research on Chaco has identified possible aspects of Chacoan culture, including layered worlds, a center place, directionality, and balanced duality that also are elements of a belief system referred to as the Flower World shared across Southwestern North America. Music is an integral part of the Flower World and wooden flutes, shell trumpets, foot drums, copper bells, and hoof and walnut rattles have all been found at archaeological sites in Chaco Canyon. This paper examines these instruments in the context of the Flower World elements of Chacoan culture and illustrates how the instruments and the contexts in which they were found are closely connected to, and expressive of, Chacoan ideology.

Chaco Canyon floreció entre 850 y 1140 d.C. en el seno de una sociedad que probablemente fue la más jerárquica del Nuevo México prehispánico. Investigaciones recientes han identificado una variedad de posibles aspectos de la cultura local, incluyendo los mundos estratificados, un lugar central, la direccionalidad y la dualidad balanceada, todos ellos elementos de un sistema de creencias que se conoce como Mundo Florido y se encuentra disperso por todo el suroeste de América del Norte. La música forma parte integral del Mundo Florido e instrumentos como flautas de madera, trompetas de caracol marino, tambores de pie, campanas de cobre y sonajas hechas de pezuñas o nueces han sido descubiertos todos en sitios arqueológicos del Chaco Canyon. El artículo los examina en el conjunto de elementos que constituyen el Mundo Florido en la cultura local, y muestra que ellos mismos y los contextos en los que fueron hallados, están relacionados estrechamente con la ideología del lugar.

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