Mayan Arts and Culture: Bonampak Mural

Mayan arts and culture: musical instruments

Archeologists have uncovered drums, flutes, whistles, and trumpets indicating that music played an important role in pre-Columbian Mayan arts and culture. These instruments have also been attested in ancient Mayan texts and murals. In this Mayan mural, conch trumpet players are depicted playing for the city lords after a victorious war campaign.

MayanMusic_originalTo this day, the chirimia  and drums are played at traditional Maya folk festivals which celebrate Mayan arts and culture through musical performances and dances which include marimba musicians, as well.

Mayan arts and culture, marimba, chirimia and drum

Mayan chirimia and drum musicians
Mayan chirimia and drum

The wooden chirimia is a double-reed (oboe-like) instrument which looks very similar to the musical instruments  pictured in the Bonampak mural.

Mayan arts and culture: chirimia musical instrumentsMusical performances and rituals play a role in traditional Maya life contributing to our knowledge of Mayan arts and culture and to the development of Mayan music, over time.

Traditional Mayan chirimia and drum music may be heard on the audio file at the bottom of the Mayan chirimia and drum post.

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