The Native American Flute

The Native American Flute
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Single chambered whistle flutes crafted from the hollow bones of large birds have been discovered in caves throughout the world, left behind by prehistoric cultures. These bone flutes have survived for thousands of years; whereas, flutes crafted from wood, river cane and bamboo have long ago deteriorated with the passing of time.

The first evidence of Native American flutes crafted from these perishable materials is relatively recent. For example, Anasazi end-blown, single chambered flutes dating from 620 AD were uncovered at the Broken Flute Cave in Prayer Valley, Arizona by Earl H. Morris in 1931.

Exactly when the two-chambered, contemporary Native American flute crafted from wood or cane evolved remains for the most part a mystery. The first one of these flutes, however, was collected by an Italian adventurer, Giacomo Costantino Beltrami, in 1823 on his search for the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Nonetheless, the timeless, meditative sound of the contemporary Native American flute continues to sooth the hearts and souls of those who play or listen to this ancient musical instrument.

Shortly after his retirement in 2007, Steve Weiss, residing in Smithfield, Utah, traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona for one-to-one Native American flute playing instruction from John Vames, author of the Native American Flute: Understanding the Gift. Through this Website, Steve shares his gift and experience in the art of Native American flute instruction. Enjoy!

Smithfield to Broken Flute Cave