A complex vessel with a whistle cavity built inside a sculptural shape that represents the animal being mimicked.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
Multi-ChambersWhistling jars are double-chambered bottles consisting of two chambers connected to one another by a hollow passageway between them. They are used in ceremonial and secular rituals as entertainment.
MouthHoles formed in single, duet or triplicate orientation.
Two BodiesDouble globular, flat-bottom chambers containing and is apart of the whistle mechanism.
Two NecksThe spouts with everted lips where air or water enter.
Bridge HandleConnects the hollow bodies for ease of carrying.
TubePart of the whistle chamber that direct fluid across the sphere's opening; creating the whistling sound.
Modeled FigureThe surface shallow engravings at the top and sides of the bodies.
WhistlingThe two bodies of the vessel are filled with water depending on what kind of sound the user wants to produce. Lower levels produce high pitch sounds, while higher levels of water produce lower pitch sounds. Typically, the bodies are filled with approximately halfway because if they are too full, the bottle will not make any sound; space must be left for air in the hollow chambers. The bottle is tilted so that the majority of the liquid passes out from one side, where the whistle is located, into the other. Then the bottle must be tilted in the other direction so that the water flows back into the body where the whistle is. Thus, the bottle can produce a whistling sound every time it is tilted back in forth.
- A mixture of terracotta, shells and water makes the clay pliable and less likely to crack
- Two half-molds make one hollow vessel with a wide mouth and narrow neck
- Form a small clay ball and attach it to the bottom of the jar's interior
- Attach a thin clay strip from the rim of the jar to the small ball, creating a smooth tube, shaped as the whistle to ensure proper airflow
- Once the jar is mostly dry, use a pebble to rub and smash the surface, creating a smooth and glossy finish through burnishing
- Paint and take precautions to protect the designs during firing
- Fire the jar in a kiln to harden
- Once cooled, test the whistle by pouring water into the vessel and tilting it to produce whistling sounds. Adjust the water level to achieve the desired pitch.
DecorationsFollowing being burnished, devotions to the gods are embodied by their imagery surrounded by raised dots in relief; or symbols reflective of different historical and mythical ideologies specific to their society.
Each piece tells a story, whether a myth of the gods or an account of the potter himself.Birds are the most common animal carved and can emit sounds of chirping, clucking, cooing, cawing, warbling, piping, screeching, squawking, hooting or tooting. Other depictions include:
Raw materials & Components