High Eagle's Favorite Web Links HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE INDIAN FLUTE High Eagle's Favorite Web Links

High Eagle's How To Make Flute

Ever wonder how to make a Native American Indian flute? Well, it's not hard! Just follow the simple instructions below . . .

1. Cedar wood is preferred or river cane or bamboo, but any wood can be used.
2. Split a tree branch or wood into two halves.
3. An obstruction comparable to the node in the cane or bamboo is left one hand width from the mouthpiece.
4. Bind the halves together and seal with wax, tallow or glue so as to seal out any escaping air. Make it airtight! In old days, Indians used pine pitch or beeswax.
5. Bore a hole on either side of the obstruction in an area that has been planed flat.
6. Drill tone holes according to traditional spacing based on the player's hand and finger measurements (see diagram)
7. Holes are not cut in a straight line but in a slight arc to fit the player's fingers
8. A rectangular windway of thin wood or metal is then fitted to the flattened area (called the nest)
9. A block carved in a form representative of an animal is mounted over the windway (known as the bird)
10. The windway channel is known as a nest; and the flattened area on which both rest, the roost
11. Sometimes, this ornament designates the owner's clan or the clan of the maker.

Some flutes have only three sound holes. The Sioux have five. Oklahoma Plains tribes use flues with six holes. Keep in mind that Indian flutes are as diverse and individual as the people who have made them. They don't all look alike . . . and neither do their makers! Aho!

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