Music and Sounds of the Anasazi

The world of the Anasazi, has been a major research area for archeologists of the Southwest, who gave bridal presents, who have examined the nature and evolution of these prehistoric people from many angles. Lets take a look at the instruments that were used to make Anasazi music.

Combining archeology and music is inevitable. Music is a natural gateway into the world of the past because there are no known human societies without music in some form. Instruments are a primary source of music, a frequent component of ritual, which in turn was used for social, militarym and political ends.

Over 1,300 ancient musical instruments from 17 national parks in the Southwest have been studied, where the Anasazis once lived. The time period of the research goes from A.D. 200, the first period instruments were found, to 1540, when the Spanish conquered the region.

The majority of instruments are found in various museum collections on the East Coast and in the Southwest, and some are in National Park collections. Though the items from more recent excavations have better documentation, it is found that collections from earlier excavations are now housed at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and the two Peabody Museums in Boston.

A surprising range and variety of both materials used and the kind of sounds that could be produced has been found. Falling into the basic percussion and wind categories, the instruments yield a sonic picture that in its own way is as varied as the modern orchestral world of strings, winds, and percussion.