An important Pututu Shell Waylla Kepa. This marine shell (rare) trumpet was used
by the early Andeans to partake in ceremonial announcements, calls to arms and/or
to communicate with the supernatural forces. They emit a load blasting sound that
is said to linger on across time and space. The conical mouthpiece is uniquely made
of silver. The addition and presence of this silver metal mouthpiece is important.
It strongly suggests a desire to enhance the performance of the instrument as this
allows for a better and more comfortable vibration of the lips. Metal mouthpieces
appear to be fairly standardized in the Northern Peru region during the first half
of the first millennium. Unfortunately, the few Strombus waylla kepa that have survived,
have lost their metal mouthpieces with some being restored.
Northern Peru, Ca. 500-1450 A.D. Measures 6”/15.24 cm in length. All Original, no
restoration. Excellent rich patina.
Ex Weston, Santa Clarita, CA collection. Acquired 1960s
Similar example is available at the On-line Museo Largo Collection