Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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animal shaped ocarina
  • unknown Tairona maker
  • animal shaped ocarina, 800–1100s CE
  • Where object was made: Colombia
  • terracotta
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 10 x 4 x 5.5 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 3 7/8 x 1 9/16 x 2 1/8 in
  • Betty Austin Hensley Flutes of the World
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0666

This stylized animal shape was identified as feline, with a long body and human-like head. The face does not have a snout, the eyes and nose are human-like, but the ears are small and triangular at the top of the head. A hole in top of head appears to be the mouthpiece, with the whistle hole at the back of head. The two holes on the body may be fingerholes. The arms were apparently directed backwards, as the "stumps" are on either side of the whistlehole, opposite the face. The legs appear to be missing as well, if they were directed in the same direction as the arms, as there is evidence of loss. There is no indication of a tail.