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Photo, Print, Drawing Playing the Marimba.

About this Item


  • Playing the Marimba.


  • This photograph from Guatemala shows an indigenous musician playing a marimba made from gourds of different sizes. Two young girls are holding the instrument. The marimba, believed to have originated in southern Africa, was brought to South America in the early 16th century by Africans taken there as slaves. In the 1890s, the Guatemalan marimba builder Sebastian Hurtado made an instrument with a wooden resonator pipe instead of a gourd, an innovation that formed the basis of the modern marimba. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the pursuit of common goals and respect for each other's sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the English-speaking Caribbean as well as Canada. The predecessor organization to the OAS was the Pan American Union, founded in 1910, which in turn grew out of the International Union of American Republics, established at the First International Conference of American States in 1889-90.

Created / Published

  • Guatemala : Organization of American States, 1970.


  • -  Guatemala
  • -  1970
  • -  Marimba
  • -  Music
  • -  Musical instruments
  • -  Recreation


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 8 x 10 inches; black and white photograph.
  • -  Original resource at: Columbus Memorial Library, Organization of American States.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Columbus Memorial Library (OAS) Photograph Collection

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021669787

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Playing the Marimba. Guatemala, 1970. Guatemala: Organization of American States. Photograph.

APA citation style:

(1970) Playing the Marimba. Guatemala, 1970. Guatemala: Organization of American States. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Playing the Marimba. Guatemala: Organization of American States. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.