Whistling Effigy Jar (work of art)
Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- The spout on top of this jar makes a birdlike whistling sound when water is poured from it. The sound is produced by the combination of air and water in the jar.
- It is believed that some of the smaller whistling effigy jars could have been worn as a pendant on a necklace, to give the person wearing it closer access to the whistle feature.
This object is a whistling, double-spout-and-bridge bottle. It has a straight, open spout at one side, on the top, with a bridgelike handle leading to a closed spout on the other side. The closed spout was modeled to represent a human figure playing a musical instrument. The vessel was designed as a water pitcher that forces air through a whistle inside one chamber. When water is poured out of it, the air creates a whistling sound. The human figure has pierced ears and wears a headband with incised, or carved, chevron designs. When the mouthpiece is blown, the nose of the human figure also makes a whistling sound.
Resources for Teachers:
- Read a short description of how Peruvian ceramics are classified, from the Museo Larco.
- Examine another whistling jar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Resources for Students: