A DIVINE WIND: THE ARTS OF DEATH AND MUSIC IN TERMINAL FORMATIVE OAXACA
Abbreviated Journal Title
CLASSIC MAYA; SOCIAL-COMPLEXITY; MESOAMERICA; ARCHAEOLOGY; GUATEMALA; IDEOLOGY; AGUATECA; Archaeology
This paper examines the social context of music and musical instruments in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica through the detailed analysis of a late Terminal Formative period (A.D. 100-250) burial from the site of Yugue in the lower Rio Verde Valley of Oaxaca. The burial contained a sub-adult male interred with an incised bone flute and a plaster-backed iron-ore mirror. The Yugue flute is the earliest reported bone flute from Mesoamerica and is incised and carved to create the bas relief image of a skeletal male figure. Based on the instrument's archaeological context and elaborate incising, we argue that the flute was categorized in pre-Columbian ontology as an animate object that actively participated in ceremonial action at Yugue. While the nature of such ceremony remains unclear, the incising on the flute indicates that the instrument was capable of making manifest ancestral and divine forces affiliated with rain, wind, and agricultural fertility.
"A DIVINE WIND: THE ARTS OF DEATH AND MUSIC IN TERMINAL FORMATIVE OAXACA" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 2266.