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Peruvian Whistling Vessels
Created from clay and fashioned in the likeness of local wildlife or shamanic symbolism, the Peruvian whistling vessel is so much more than a unique instrument - it is a shamanic tool as well. Known as huaco silbadores in Spanish, these modern vessels are reproductions of those made by ancient, Pre-Columbian peoples of the Andes. In fact, there have been archeological examples of these unique whistles dating as far back as 500 BCE, with many of them being found in modern-day Peru.
At first, these unique sound producing objects were thought to just be liquid containers, albeit ornate ones. For hundreds of years, anthropologists referred to them as such in museum collections. The majority of these whistling vessels were discovered interred as burial goods, likely as offerings for the afterlife - something that confirmed how sacred these objects truly were. The art and artistry that go into these vessels is thought to have transcended civilizations, as there are examples of both the Inca and Moche cultures of the Andes making and using these objects.
In truth, however, these vessels can be filled partially with water and then used to produce a whistle-like note when blown into. In fact, when more than one vessel is played together that have been tuned properly, the sounds that escape them both have been known to create binaural frequencies. Such whistles in tandem can be used in sacred rites for meditation or trance work, increase relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress, and even create auditory illusions of a third sound, another whistle, as if a third vessel were being played at the same time.
The use of these whistling vessels in what we can only believe to be their truly intended purposes has been on the rise over the past few decades, as more individuals seek traditional shamanic wisdom. Today, there are many practitioners of shamanic faiths and adherents of ancient traditions that have harnessed the powers of these vessels for a number of different purposes in our modern lives. The whistling sound of one of these instruments has come to be a regular occurrence in sound healing ceremonies and sessions, either alone or with a number of other tools from related traditions.
All of our instruments are painstaking reconstructions of original ancient designs, created by ethnomusicologist Jose Vitancio Humeres. They can be used to produce melodic sound played both separately and together.