Pitos - Colorful Bird and Turtle Ocarinas

May 01, 2017

Pitos - Colorful Bird and Turtle Ocarinas

Like most of the clay craft of San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua the roots of the bird pitos are based in indigenous pottery tradition of the village.  The ocarinas for the indigenous people were used as a form of communication and as musical instruments during celebrations and ceremonies. Modern touches have been made to these whistle pieces and today they are predominately produced in a variety of colorful tropical bird forms representing the diversity of the tropical bird species of the area.                                                                                                                                                                 The Cano family comes together as a unit to produce some of the finest bird pitos of the village.  The raw clay hollow forms are molded and then openings are cut into the clay, then the individual details of each bird style are sculpted by hand.  The pieces are sun dried and fired in the adobe kiln.  The colorful painting is applied after firing with non toxic, water soluble pigments.

These pieces are colorful adornments that function as simple musical instruments.  Bird lover enjoy these pieces as the designs are based on a variety of tropical bird species and kids love these pieces as a fun handmade whistle that can be shared with friends.


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