Photo: LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images
The death whistle is one of the gadgets that the Aztecs forged around the war, which he used to scare his adversaries, but also to encourage his warriors.
For the Aztecs, war was an axis of their religion and economic interests, so they found different ways to make this one of the ways to keep their empire always afloat.
The Aztecs obviously waged wars to conquer cities and obtain tributes for economic purposes, but also to get prisoners and then sacrifice them in the name of the gods.
Aztec gadgets and the Ehecachichtli whistle
Among the gadgets that the Aztecs created around the war, such as their emblematic weapons such as their wooden mace with sharp obsidian blades, there was a more sophisticated and based acoustic engineering: the Ehecachichtli Death whistle.
Listen to this whistle:
This whistle, whose sound is somewhat shocking, simulates the screams of a person suffering, and was used in war to produce terror in his adversaries. Imagine this sound being played by hundreds of Aztec warriors.
The artifacts were made in various ways, but those that resemble a human skull predominate, but there were in the shape of monkeys, felines or lizards.
Another reason why the Aztecs blew the death whistle was so that its noise joined the screams of the warriors, giving the impression that there were more than those who actually made up a battalion.
The sound is simply achieved thanks to this double diaphragm air instrument, the same as It was also used in other rituals related to death, for example, helping their dead descend to Mictlán.
It should be remembered that for the Aztec culture, death was a transit to a higher state, so perhaps the sound emitted by the “death whistle” was not only a resource to frighten opponents, but also a kind of ecstatic detonator among the warriors themselves.
The researcher Roberto Velazquez described in an article for the journal Arqueología de México where he details the uses of the death whistle, although its existence had not been confirmed at first.
In another curious video, we can see an Arizona citizen using a leaf blower to increase the sound emitted by the Ehecachichtli whistle, since it takes a lot of force in the lungs for the sound to be emitted clearly.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.