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 In recent years we have been testing and experimenting with shell wind instruments,  inspired by the archaeological record.   Our first replica of the 18,000 year old Marsoulas Cave artifact from France was a success, so we started looking into Mesoamerica and the Pacific cultures as well.    This replica was inspired by some of the archaeology and ethnographic writings/drawings of Mesoamerican cultures using Welk and Queen conch shells for instruments/trumpets during ceremonial events and processions.  Our research lead to the cutting of the mouthpiece and drilling of small hole into first chamber from the apex, and results in a horn sound(hear video above). This example measures 9 inches long, and has a drilled hole for the mouth piece.  This Conch shell has the traditional hole punched in near the mouthpiece area.  This is the ancestral way to harvest, in that the making of the puncture hole breaks the vacuum seal, and the edibles section is released.   To hold and blow this shell as a trumpet, the hand hold can utilize one finger over that hole, as shown in video above.  With a few minutes practice, most have been able to figure out how to purse the lips to get the correct sound, and this particular example turned out very well.

Conch Shell Horn/Trumpet

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