Trumpet with geometric figures

Calima-Malagana Region - Malagana Period-100/400

Museo del Oro, Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Bogotá
Bogota, Colombia

Considering the body ornaments they used and the many objects which were clearly intended for ritual uses, the inhabitants of the plains and swamps in the valley of the Cauca River must have had an extremely intense ceremonial activity. Obviously music was essential during these activities; and exquisitely made instruments have been left for us. This trumpet was made out of three fragments of long bones belonging to some mammal. The work to join the bones and their hollowness is impeccable. The bones were then engraved with decorative motives and an extremely thin layer of gold was adhered to them; surprisingly there are no creases and practically no evidence of joining parts. The sheet already adhered to the bone was embossed taking from it the double spiral designs separated in sections by parallel lines which hide the parts where the fragments were joined together. The result is a trumpet associating death –the bone– with life –the sun shining in gold– which we enjoy today as a real piece of artwork. JSS

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  • Title: Trumpet with geometric figures
  • Creator: Calima-Malagana Region - Malagana Period
  • Date: -100/400
  • Physical Dimensions: w56 x h400 mm
  • Type: Goldwork
  • External Link: Cosmology and Symbolism room
  • Technique: Hammered gold foil covering carved bones
  • Finding: Colombia, Valle del Cauca, Palmira
  • Accession number: O33395

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