Hrdy Fellowship

Documenting Mesoamerican Whistles,  Rattles, and More

 mesoamerican whistles

Dr. Jose Bernardo Cuellar is the Peabody Museum's FY2012 Hrdy Fellow and an affiliate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. As the Hrdy Fellow, he was in residence at Harvard for spring 2012, researching and recording Mesoamerican instruments in the Peabody Museum collection.

The purpose of “Documenting Mesoamerican Flutes, Ocarinas, Whistles, and Rattles” is to expand and enrich understanding of Mesoamericans from past to present. Dr. Cuellar is researching and recording selected indigenous ceramic, terra cotta, clay, and earthen pottery whistles and rattles found in various Mesoamerican sites from Costa Rica to the central valley of Mexico.

As an extension of this project, Dr. Cuellar also created and conducted three public music programs: “Fabulous Flutes, Marvelous Music” as part of the Peabody’s Saturday Family Programming on March 17th, 2012; “Music of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands,” a performance/talk co-sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center Latin American Studies on March 29th; and “The Musical Impact of the Latino Diaspora,” a concert in collaboration with student, faculty and community musicians from East Boston’s ZUMIX (a 2011 White House Award Winner for Best Arts and Humanities After-School Program) on April 11, 2012.

Dr. Cuellar is San Francisco State University Latino/a Studies Professor emeritus with an academic career spanning more than four decades as an ethnic studies educator and ethnologist. His research, teaching, and administration promoted better understanding of those in greater need, especially older and younger persons in United States Mexican/Latino urban communities.

Also known as “Dr. Loco,” Dr. Cuellar is a San Antonio, Texas–born and San Francisco, California–based 71-year-old Xicano multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, bandleader, producer, arranger, and composer. His life-long musical career is devoted to performing and recording interpretations of classic and contemporary Musica Americana (in its broadest sense), with emphasis on genres that flourish along and across the United States—Mexico borderlands.


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