Flower World - Mundo Florido, vol. 4

Music Archaeology of the Americas - Arqueomusicología de las Américas

A Case Study of Maya Avian Ocarinas from Pook’s Hill, Belize

Kristina Nielsen and Christophe Helmke

This paper examines the evidence of musical life at the Maya residential site of Pook’s Hill in Belize. Whereas Pook’s Hill was inhabited throughout the Classic period, we will focus on the rich remains of the Terminal Classic period (AD 830–950), immediately prior to the site’s abandonment. Remnants of turtle shells and deer antlers, fragments of ceramic drums, and a large number of effigy ocarinas representing supernatural dwarves and animals testify to a rich musical culture that drew inspiration from the rainforest environment. We survey the musical life of this residential site, considering both the local variations demonstrated in the archaeological finds as well as its correspondence to broader Maya and pan-Mesoamerican musical expressions.

Este artículo examina la evidencia de la vida musical en el sitio residencial maya de Pook’s Hill en Belice. Aunque Pook’s Hill era habitado durante todo el período Clásico, nos centraremos en los ricos vestigios del periodo Clásico Terminal (830-950 d.C.) inmediatamente antes del abandono del sitio. Los restos de caparazones de tortuga y cuernos de venado, fragmentos de tambores de cerámica y un gran número de ocarinas efigies que representan enanos sobrenaturales y animales dan testimonio de una rica cultura musical que se inspiraba en el medio ambiente selvático. Examinamos la vida musical de este sitio residencial, teniendo en cuenta tanto las variaciones locales que se manifestaron en los hallazgos arqueológicos, así como su correspondencia con expresiones musicales maya y pan-mesoamericanas.

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