Ocarina in the Shape of a Kinkajou Artist: Unknown


Art of the Ancient Americas

Not on view

This kinkajou is shown doing what it does best: hanging. It uses its tail here as it would the limb of a tree. The pose makes the figure easy to hold and use as an ocarina (whistle). The hip and shoulder joints, as well as its flanks, have tone holes. The mouthpiece projects from the center of its back. The kinkajou, also called the honey bear, is a member of the raccoon family.


Incised ceramic with pigment, Castillo engraved


4 1/2 × 6 in. (11.43 × 15.24 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Bryce Appleton, B.A. 1965, Marc Appleton, M.ARCH. 1972, Lynnie Appleton, and Lili Appleton in honor of their mother, Ariel Bryce Appleton, and her interest in Costa Rica, its people, and their art

Accession Number



13th–16th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

  • Jock Reynolds, "Director's Report: July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2010), 12–13, ill
  • Marc Zender, "The Raccoon Glyph in Maya Writing," http://www.mesoweb.com/pari/journal/archive/PARI0504.pdf (accessed 2005),
  • Andrés Gutiérrez Usillos, Dioses, Simbolos y Alimentación en los Andes: Interrelación Hombre Fauna en el Ecuador Prehispánico (Quito Ecuador: Ediciones Abya-Yala, 2002),
  • Elizabeth P. Benson, Birds and Beasts of Ancient Latin America (Gainsville, Fla: University Press of Florida, 1997),
  • Gary Urton, Animal Myths and Metaphors in South America (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1985),
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type




Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit iiif.io to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.