Mexican instruments




A slit drum of the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican cultures. An H-shaped slit was cut into a hollowed-out section of log, forming two tongues that were struck with mallets. Such instruments were often elaborately carved into animal and human shapes. In Aztec society they were used, along with the huehuetl, in dancing and in religious ritual. They were also used by the Tarascans and the Mayans. Mayans called them tunkul. Small drums of this type are still used in México.



A single-headed, cylindrical drum of pre-Columbian México. Aztec examples were made from a section of a tree trunk 75 to 100 cm. long and elaborately carved with hieroglyphs that indicated the history of the instrument, its role in ceremonial functions, and similar information. A smaller, less ornate version is still in use.