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Whistling Effigy Jar (work of art)

Artwork Info

Created
circa 200 B.C.E.–200 C.E.
Artist
Unknown Peruvian Artist (Peruvian, Salinar culture)
Dimensions
8 1/2 x 7 1/8 inches (21.6 x 18.1 centimeters)

Credit

Gift of Tobie Surprenant

Culture
Ancient American

Key Ideas about this Work of Art

  • The spout on top of this jar makes a bird-like 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.

Learn More

This work of art is a whistling, double-spout-and-bridge bottle. It has a straight, open spout at one side, on the top, with a bridge-like 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. 

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Images

  • A large, oval-shaped ceramic jar with an open spout on top.

    Whistling Effigy Jar by

  • A large, oval-shaped ceramic jar with an open spout on top.

    PERUVIAN, Whistling Effigy Jar, 2004_7, view B

  • A large, oval-shaped ceramic jar with an open spout on top.

    PERUVIAN, Whistling Effigy Jar, 2004_7, view A