For centuries, the ancient Maya had been accompanied by music during the hunt, to keep enemies away, imitating the sounds of nature or simply to celebrate, a tradition that still exists in Yucatan: land of Trova and a wide array of sounds that blend Western and pre-Hispanic musical instruments, giving our state a unique musical identity that we can hear everyday in the streets of Mérida.
You may have probably seen a “tunkul” even without knowing what it is. It is a wooden box that has a particular sound and is one of the most emblematic musical instruments of Mayan culture, authentic heritage of the ancient people that inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula.
This ancient percussion instrument emits a dry sound similar to a box when hit with drumsticks. Made from cedar, mahogany, and zapote wood, it can be carved with decorative figures like frets and other designs. It was mainly used in ceremonies and rituals, and nowadays it is basic for the Jarana. Best of all, children can make their own “tunkules” with regional wood, thereby preserving the instrument’s tradition.
The “tunkul” can also imitate the sound of the frog as part of a rain-maker ritual, and its characteristic sound accompanies folk music interpretations providing Yucatecan music with one-of-a-kind original percussion sound.
There are also other Mayan percussion instruments: there are rattles made out of squash filled with seeds or rattles from rattlesnakes, or made from turtle shells, and, in fact, some of these artifacts have been found in cenotes, including the one in Chichén Itzá, which is proof of the enormous universe of sound and the great religious significance that music had for the ancient Maya.
As well, there is a wind instrument that has survived the passing of time, maintaining its mystical qualities: the conch shell.
Nowadays it can be heard in Mayan ceremonies such as weddings, during the equinox at archaeological sites, and even in the re-creation of the ancient Maya ball games.
It sounds like the ocean, and it’s used at the beginning of a significant event or to mark an important moment when people need to be alert.
And another of the most important instruments in Yucatecan music is obviously the guitar, with its many authors, writers, and poets who have been inspired to create romantic pieces for their beloved land, now known as “Yucatecan Trova.”
If you visit the Grande in downtown in Merida any given evening, you will be able to find “trios”, each with different sized guitars and who will delight you with their interpretations of Yucatecan songs.
It is said that in Yucatán, life is described in a song!
more recommended stories
Unstoppable damage to the mangrove systems in Yucatan, new ecocide in Ría Lagartos
In an area of 2, 500.
Cancun Welcomes Swoop’s Inaugural Flight from Toronto Hamilton Airport
Three destinations in Mexico departing out.
More and more accidents involving motorcycle drivers in Yucatán
“During the first 13 days of.
Rolando Zapata personally responds to accusations against him
In a three-minute video he recorded.
Two cases of sexual abuse in the same night in Mérida
Despite campaigns to stop gender-based violence.
First Ecological Police in the state of Yucatan
PROGRESO, YUCATÁN.- At the Coordinated Municipal.
Tons of sargassum to invade Yucatan And Quintana Roo beaches in 2019
YUCATAN MEXICO.- Tons of sargassum infest.
This is the hilarious moment a.
Campeche Wetlands At Risk Of Disappearing
Around 200 thousand hectares of wetlands.
Two men arrested, one for buying and one for selling crack cocaine in Merida
For their alleged participation in “crimes.