Music is a cultural manifestation shared by Humanity. However, for the Mesoamerican groups, including the Mayas, its public manifestation took place in diverse contexts: festivals, ceremonies, warrior parades, and other political-religious events. Musicians were also very important characters in the royal court. A variety of images of musicians appear ceramic pictorial art as well as on decorated walls. There are also examples of musicians in full action depicted in a variety of clay figurines. Musicians played all kinds of instruments and thanks to the work of archaeologists, epigraphers and ethnomusicologists, the instruments, their materials and ways of instrumentation have been discovered and classified.
As part of the “Exhibitions and Education Program”, La Ruta Maya Foundation in Guatemala organizes each year a thematic show, to engage the public with attractive topics regarding the culture and art of Guatemala and Mesoamerica. All exhibits are free entrance.
Seventy selected objects, which are musical instruments or relate to the performing arts, are shown at the Training Center of the Spanish Cooperation (CFCE) in Antigua Guatemala (7th Avenue North between 3rd and 4th West Streets).
The collection includes whistle-figurines, ocarinas, different kinds of flutes, bells, drums, rattles, conch-shell trumpets, a wooden tunkul, copper bells, polychrome vessels, molds and ceramic three-dimensional figures of musicians. Many of them have audio and video documentation, especially wind instruments, which will be available with QR Codes printed on the labels of selected objects. Visitors will be able to access and hear with their mobile phones (earphones advised).
This exhibition has been organized and curated by La Ruta Maya Foundation, with the participation of the K’inich Museum of Musical Instruments.
Although it should have opened to the public on August 11, 2021, the exhibition may intermittently close due to COVID. The entrance is FREE and installed until March 20, 2022, from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For inquiries and reservations, contact +502 7932-3838. Given its face-to-face mode, a maximum capacity of 10 visitors will be maintained within the gallery, as well as the use of a mouth cover or mask.
Gallery with photographs by Sofia Paredes Maury and Jorge Pérez de Lara