.Creative Spirit – Native American style flutes.
I make our flutes from various hard woods including Mahogany, Oak, Sapele and Maple.
Every material I use will give the flute made a unique voice of its own. In fact two flutes made from the same material will have subtle differences in their voices
A flute made of a softwood like pine would have a softer more mellow voice than a flute made of Maple which is a very hard wood and would give the flute a sharper voice. This is due to the efficiency of vibration travelling through the flute when its played.
This is one of the wonders of the flute, there are never two the same, each one is very individual and unique.
With every flute comes a small booklet, this contains general information about the flute, some history and some fascinating information about how the flute came to be, and how it progressed and advanced through the years.
A segment from the booklet relating to the many personalities of the flute ; ” It can morn like a Loon, it can bugle like an Elk. it can trill like a warbler, It has many moods, expectant for the sunrise, happy when calling the bubbling brook, complacent in the dusk at works end and seductive when calling a lover.”
Please find below a selection of our Flutes, full details of the flutes will be given in the shop.
There is a wonderful story associated with the
Native American flute with regards to how they came
to be, it goes like this……
The legend of the Native American flute
Once upon a time, long, long ago, a young hunter went out to hunt for meat to help feed his people.
As he was following the tracks of an elk, he had two ideas in mind. The elk would feed his people, yes. But the elk was known to possess the love charm.
If the hunter could possess the elk’s medicine, he would be lucky in love. And right now he needed luck, for he loved a young maiden who would not pay attention to him.
He hunted for many hours, but the elk managed to elude him, but he continued to follow its tracks deeper into the forest. As the light began to fail, he noticed that the elk’s tracks disappeared, and he knew he could no longer find his way home. He would have to sleep in the forest that night.
So he settled himself down, rolling out his fur robe and wrapping himself inside it for warmth. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but the forest was a sea of strange sounds. He heard the howling of coyotes, the hooting of owls, the scratching of burrowing animals, the rustling of leaves in the nighttime wind. Every sound aroused his senses, and he could not fall asleep.
With his eyes wide open, he stared into the dark forest, wondering how he would survive the night. Suddenly he heard a sound like nothing he had ever before heard. He cocked his head to one side. The sound was beautiful, mournful, haunting. It was a sound he could not describe or explain, but it lulled him into a comforting sleep, and while he slept, he dreamed.
The hunter dreamed of the redheaded woodpecker. In his dream the bird appeared and sang the beautiful song the hunter had heard in the forest. “Follow me,” the woodpecker said in the dream. “Follow me, and I will show you how to make this song.”
At dawn the hunter woke and was startled to see on a branch above him a redheaded woodpecker staring down. The hunter and the bird looked into each other’s eyes for a moment, and then the bird flew to another tree, one not far away. The hunter hesitantly stood up. Now the bird flew to the next tree, and so the hunter began to follow him, remembering the words from his dream: “Follow me, and I will show you how to make this song.”
After a while, the bird stopped, perched on a highest branch of a cedar tree. The woodpecker began to peck at the branch, and the hunter stood and watched, for he knew, somehow, that he would soon learn something more.
Then the wind picked up, and as it did, it blew hard against the tree, and the hunter heard that song again, but now he saw that it came from the branch on which the woodpecker was tapping.
“Let me take this branch home,” the hunter said, and the woodpecker flew from the branch, which then fell to the ground at the hunter’s feet. He picked it up and hurried back to his village, carrying the branch as if he had found gold.
When he returned home, his family was disappointed to see he had brought them no meat, but the hunter said, “I bring something much better.” He took the branch into his tepee and tried to make the branch sing. He waved it in the air. He took it outside and held it aloft, letting the wind blow past it. But the branch would not play the song for him.
That night the hunter fell asleep holding the branch. Again the woodpecker came to him in his dream. “Watch me play the branch,” the woodpecker said, and he transformed himself into a man. Then he took the branch from the hunter’s hand and carved it into the shape of a bird with a long neck and an open beak. He painted the top of the branch with red, the sacred color, and he showed the hunter how he must finger the holes. And then he blew into the mouthpiece, and once again the hunter heard the beautiful, melancholy song.
When the hunter woke, he saw that the branch had been tranformed to the way the woodpecker had carved it. He took it in hand and stepped outside into the morning light. He fingered the holes and blew into the mouthpiece, just as the woodpecker had shown him in his dream. And when he did, the song rose up beside his tepee, and all the villagers heard the song and came running toward him. They were filled with joy.
The young woman the hunter loved came, too. She listened to his song and then stepped closer. “I love your song,” she said, and they looked into each other’s eyes and fell in love.
The people of that tribe have carved flutes ever since then, and on them they play their love songs…
A wonderful story and there are many others associated with Native American items.
The history of the flute is quite sketchy, this is due to there being very few references to the flute in its early life. Because of the flutes that have been found and dated in the America’s it has lead historians to believe that the Native American flute is the third oldest instrument in the world with bone flutes dating back to over 60,000 years. Drums where discovered first followed by bone whistles, more holes were added and they were made large eventually to become the flute.
Native flutes and whistles were used for many reasons, varying between the tribes, the tribes of the north west coast of America used bone and cedar for different dances and spirit calling ceremonies.
The Lakota tribes used the flute for love songs and courting.
The Topi tribe had flute societies that performed powerful prayer ceremonies with their flutes.
Still today Eagle bone whistles are used at many pow wows.
Flutes were used by many tribes for entertainment while travelling. Many of these songs still exist today..
Now days the flutes are normally tuned to the pentatonic scale, however the early flutes where tuned by the individual for the individual which meant that on most occasions any two flutes would be totally out of tune with each other, making it near impossible to play the two instruments together. As stated being tuned to the pentatonic scale allows the flute to play along with any modern instrument.
I will add more facts about the Native American flute as time allows. I have posted some information about Native Myth’s and Legends, you will find that here…..Native Myth’s and Legends