Flower World - Mundo Florido, vol. 4

Music Archaeology of the Americas - Arqueomusicología de las Américas

What Do Moche Whistles Want?

Dianne Scullin

This chapter attempts to untangle and unpack the assemblages of sound, image, narrative, and performance employed by Moche thought and practice. It utilizes a sample of over 1,900 Moche artifacts deriving from the collections of the Museo Rafael Larco Herrara in Lima and the excavations of Huacas de Moche, to illuminate the interplay between sound and image within Moche social dynamics. A presentation of prevalent interpretations of Moche iconographic representations, followed by a detailed description and discussion of sound-related Moche iconography, will firmly connect specific sound types with specific Moche images and by extension theatrical performances. Decorated sound-producing artifacts reveal the synaesthetic nature of Moche sound production, that is, the consistent confluence of visual display and sound. The convergence of sound and image in a single artifact creates a powerful technology of enchantment, as described by Gell (1992), essential for the efficacy of both Moche theatrical performances and smaller-scale rituals.

El artículo trata de desentrañar y desempaquetar los ensamblajes de sonidos, imágenes, narrativas y performance enlazados en el pensamiento y la práctica moche. Para estudiar la interacción entre imagen y sonido dentro de la dinámica social se utilizó una muestra de más de 1,900 artefactos derivados de las colecciones del Museo Rafael Larco Herrera en Lima y las excavaciones llevadas a cabo en las Huacas de Moche. Por medio de la exposición de las interpretaciones prevalentes de las representaciones iconográficas moche y la descripción y discusión detenidas de la iconografía relacionada al ámbito sonoro se conectan firmemente tipos de sonidos específicos con imágenes y, por extension, representaciones teatrales específicas. Los artefactos sonoros decorados revelan el aspecto sinestético de la producción sonora, es decir, la confluencia de lo visual y lo acústico. Como escribe Gell (1992), la convergencia del sonido y la imagen en un solo artefacto es una técnica potente de encantamiento, fundamental tanto para la eficacia de las representaciones teatrales moche como para la de los rituales a escala menor.

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