Conch Trumpet

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Mayan
Conch Trumpet
ca. 500
Hematite incised on conch shell
86.457

The conch functioned as a symbol of the sea for the Maya and other ancient peoples of Mezoamerica.  Its basic shape and function as a wind instrument also connected it to Maya symbolism of breath and wind. The figures incised on this rare conch trumpet represent the Maya Moon Goddess and Juun Ajaw, one of the Maya Hero Twins. The glyphic text on the sides identifies the trumpet’s owner, a k’ayoom, or “singer.”