This stone flute is a product of the Mapuche culture, which still inhabits the south of Chile, as it has done for perhaps more than a thousand years. The instrument itself has not been dated, but from its features could be attributed to the Vergel Period.
The artifact is a kind of pan pipe, with an unperforated handle on each side and five aligned closed-ended tubes. It has two holes, one of which is located in the center of the lateral surface, as is found in the “anthropomorphic pinkulwe” type flutes of the Vergel culture. The other hole is on one edge and seems to be a result of wear or, perhaps more likely, the ‘killing’ of the flute before its placement in its owner’s tomb.
This piloilo could be played hole by hole, or in a glissando, passing rapidly from one hole to the next.
It produces several notes: A# – B – C# – D – F.
Dimensions: 570 mm high x 800 mm long x 190 mm wide (approx 22” x 31” x 7”).