Rattle jar with whistle
This ceramic object combines two kinds of musical instrument: an ocarina and a rattle. It was made by the Chorotega culture, which inhabited modern-day Nicaragua between the years 600 and 900 CE.
The artifact has two parts: The lower part consists of four hollow legs, modeled with figurative faces and containing a ceramic ball inside. When the piece is moved, the balls strike the insides of the legs, producing a sound typical of idiophones (rattles).
The upper part is in the shape of a bottle, the neck of which is a human figure with a crocodile snout. The whistle is on the outside of the bottle and forms a separate compartment. It is very small and contains an air duct that leads the player’s breath to a sharp edge, where sound is produced. It has no finger holes and so can only make one note –in this case, A#.