Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Ayoreo peoples
  • whistle, late 1800s–1976
  • Where object was made: Paraguay
  • wood, plant fiber, carving, incising
  • Object Length/Width: 51.5 x 14 cm
    Object Length/Width: 20 1/4 x 5 1/2 in
  • Gift of Robert J. Smith
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5322

The wooden square is slightly domed near the center, with a hole in the bottom edge. The top edge has a small hole with a twisted plant fiber cord through it. One surface is incised with an "X" (the symbol of the Chiqueno clan) and the other with two triangles, similar to a bowtie.

The whistle may only be played by men or boys and is used only to call Asojna (the bird god). Sound is produced by blowing over the hole on the side.