Music

Detail of musician on the mural covering the walls and vaults of Room 1, Building 1, at Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico. Illustration by Heather Hurst and Leonard Ashby, courtesy of the Bonampak Documentation Project.

Detail of musician on the mural covering the walls and vaults of Room 1, Building 1, at Bonampak, Chiapas, Mexico. Illustration by Heather Hurst and Leonard Ashby, courtesy of the Bonampak Documentation Project.

Many of the figurines found throughout the exhibition are whistles, suggesting a significant interest in music among the Maya. In fact, their artisans created an astonishing array of wind and percussion instruments.

An ocarina is a ceramic whistle that, like figurines and whistles, were typically made in Maya household workshops. There are two main types: single-chambered ocarinas and multi-chambered ocarinas.