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Teponaztli in Paris

Aztec teponaztli in Paris

Polished teponaztli, Mexica (Aztec), reddish-brown wood (probably sapodilla), 59.9 cms long, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris.

Thought to be originally from Huexotzingo, near Puebla, brought to France from Mexico in 1892 by Charles Baur and catalogued by Boban in 1894, this is drum is remarkably simple in design. The entire surface is polished and smooth (the only motifs are on the two ends). The two tongues measure just over 20 cms in length and 8.6 cms in width. The soundbox measures 8 x 40.7 x 14.8 cms. The inside of the drum retains traces of fire. Near the ends are two small pairs of holes, possibly to allow cords to be inserted.

Adapted from Azteques: La Collection de Sculptures du Musée du Quai Branly, by Leonardo López Luján and Marie-France Fauvet-Berthelot, 2005, p.173.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.

One of the teponaztlis in the British Museum

And another...

See our main feature on the teponaztli...