Wet your whistle!

Object of the Month: 03/2007

What is it?:

Double-chambered whistling bottle


Chancay culture

Age: 1100 – 1450
Where was it collected:

Peru, Central coast, near Huacho

What is it made of?:


Accession #: SMM A72:23:10

Whistling pot
Whistling pot

This Peruvian vessel consists of two bottles joined at the chambers, with a bridge, possibly used as a handle, between the necks. A whistle shaped like a parrot rests on one of the spouts. When liquid is poured into or out of the vessel, it forces air through the other spout, sounding the whistle. Whistling vessels may have been sounded by actually blowing into the spout, which creates a much richer tone.

While most whistling vessels had two chambers, some had as many as six. In some cultures, the whistling bottles were encased inside a fully-formed effigy figure.