Native American Arts and Crafts --> Native American Flute
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Next to the drum, the most important Native American instrument was the flute.
Ironically, because Native American flute construction was
significantly different than the construction of African, Asian or European flutes, it is now next to impossible to find a flute that was carved
by an actual American Indian person. The reason for this is "Native American flute" is now the accurate musical term for a wooden duct flute
with a block whistle mechanism, so any such flutes, even if they were made in Korea, can technically be sold as Native American flutes--
just like Spanish guitars that were made in Cleveland Ohio are still called "Spanish guitars." You have to look for the "made in Spain" label
to find a guitar that is authentically from Spain, and you have to find an unambiguous statement that a flute carver is a Native American artist
to find a flute that is authentically Native American. (The IACA seal on the seller's website is an effective guarantee that you're buying a
Native American flute from Native America, rather than a flute in the same style from someplace else.) Unfortunately, truly Native American
flute carvers are few and far between. Most flutes in this style are made by white or Asian people. Unlike other artists, they are not legally
barred from marketing their work as "Native American flute carving" even though they are non-native, so they have effectively taken over the
market. Flute carving is a very good example of exactly why the Indian Arts and Crafts Act is so important--if not for this law, all Native American
arts and crafts would be going this route, and you wouldn't be able to find authentic Indian art anywhere off-reservation.
If you are looking to buy a Native American flute that was actually made by Native Americans--either because it's important to you to have the real thing or because you want to support native people with your purchase--then here is our list of American Indian artists whose flutes are available online. Currently this list is very small because we know of very few genuinely Native American flute carvers. Please do contact us if you have a website of Indian flutes for us to add. We gladly advertise any native artist or native-owned art business here free of charge, however on this page, due to the lack of accountability in Native American flute making under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, we cannot link to your site unless it either has an IACA seal on it or the artist is directly stated on the website to be a member of a Native American tribe.
David Sanipass Native American Flutes|
This Mi'kmaq carver makes traditional Woodland Indian flutes of sumac, lightning-struck cedar, and sweetgrass.
Tsaile Boy Native Flutes|
Southwestern style Native American flutes made by a Navajo flute-carver. He also takes custom orders using a variety of woods, carving different animals for the flute block and cap, and so on.
Jonah Thompson Navajo Indian Flutes|
Another excellent Navajo carver offering pine and cedar Indian flutes for sale.
Nakatoshaj American Indian Flutes|
Handcrafted Native American flutes from a Kickapoo carver.
Native American Flute Bags|
Traditional Iroquois Indian flute bags made from fringed deerskin.
Black Arrow Flute Gallery|
Southwest style Native American flutes from Navajo flutemaker Andrew Begay.
Turtle Island Native American Flutes|
Iroquois Indian-made flutes in cedar and rivercane. He also carves separate animal totems for flute caps.
|Mythic Dreamer: Music For Native American Flute||Dream Catcher||Beneath the Raven Moon||Mirabal|
|Navajo-Ute musician Carlos Nakai is probably the best-known modern Indian flutist.||This Lakota artist is Pinny's favorite flutist--despite the title, this is very traditional native flute music.||Delicate and haunting native flute music by Aleut-Seminole musician Mary Youngblood.||Impressive debut album by a Taos Pueblo artist, fusing traditional Southwest Indian flute music with bluesy folk rock. A good antidote for anyone tired of "new age" style Native American flute music.|
The Art of the Native American Flute|
Carlos Nakai's history and culture of the American Indian flute, also with practical information on mastering the instrument and several Indian flute pieces to play.
Flute Magic: An Introduction to the Native American Flute|
Guide for students of the American Indian flute, also with traditional historical and flute-carving information.
A beautifully illustrated version of the Sioux legend about the origin of the Native American love flute.
The Flute Player|
A traditional Apache fairytale about an Indian flutist and his true love.
About us: This website belongs to Native Languages of the Americas, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting endangered Native American languages. We are not artists ourselves, so if you are interested in buying some of the flutes featured on this page, please contact the artists directly. Though we have featured only Native American flutes identified with the name and tribal affiliation of each artist, we haven't called the tribal offices to check up on any of them, and we only know a few of them personally. We also don't guarantee any of their products. This is not an exhaustive list of American Indian flutes--if you would like us to add your native flute site to this page, please contact us with your URL and tribal affiliation. We advertise any individual native artist or native-owned art business here free of charge. We do not link to Native American-style flutes which are not made by tribally recognized American Indian, Inuit, or First Nations artists, so please do not ask us to. And finally, websites do occasionally expire and change hands, so use your common sense and this general rule of thumb: if the creator of each individual artwork is not identified by name and specific tribe, you are probably not looking at a genuine Native American flute.
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