The title refers to the primitive musical instrument tied to ankles and fists which marks the steps of a dancer. It also refers to the variation used in cribs to entertain babies. The shape of the object itself rules out the first possibility; the second one implies holding the object and manipulating it to cause it to fulfill its function. It indeed emits sounds if we turn it slowly. It gives nautical, refreshing, prolonged sound. Although it may not seem as such at a first glance, we find ourselves before a musical instrument, characterized by the pleasant and soporific murmur it emits.
But it so happens that we are able to distinguish from afar that each Sonajero is an impressive line of human skulls. In reality, what we first notice is the arrangement of the skulls; then we discover that we are before a musical instrument that may be played. Playing it, an action that entails an unhurried and soft, fluctuating movement, is equivalent to playing with death, leaving us enveloped by a cooing sound of sorts. A contradictory, harrowing and profound sensation overcomes us. The baby’s rattle is life, the skull is death. Placed together, they situate us before the unforgiving life/death cycle.
The lulling murmur of the rattle evokes the historic lull manifested in our irrepressible aggressiveness. Like the conflict that usually precedes it, war is a cyclic game encouraged by those who hope to conquer new territories (private or collective, it makes no difference). The destruction and annihilation that are brought about do not matter much, wherefore it suggests that it is time to realize that war attracts, bewitches, seduces and makes us lose our head with its strange charms. I already mentioned at the start that we are before a work that has moral, not moralistic, implications. Hence, by evoking a toy of simple manufacture the artist seems to chuckle at what we humans really are: the most violent predators on Earth.