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Use Native American Flutes In Indian Rituals And Powwows

Apr 17, 2008
Native American flutes are enjoyed and played in many cultures around the world. I have always appreciated Native flute music for its beautiful sound quality and ability to bring a tranquil calm to the atmosphere where it is played. Hearing Native flutes always reminds me of my mother's kitchen where she often played flute music to invite a tranquil peace into her home. The beautiful flute music cures the soul and brings about a calming affect on the lives of all who come in contact with it.

If you take a look at the history of Indian musical instruments, you will realize that like the drum, the flute has a meaningful role in the daily lives, ceremonies and traditions of many Indian people. Native American flute music takes you on a cultural journey where descendants look to their ancestors for guidance, and use their instruments to connect them with the spiritual world.

Flutes of many different kinds have existed for centuries and have been part of many Indigenous cultures around the world. The reflection of flute instruments in the past shows us that they did exist in ancient Tribes. The origin and design of the Native American flute is a little more complicated to figure out due to the fact that no North American Tribe had a written language to keep record. It wasn't until explorers documented their journeys, that record of the Native American flute is found in history.

You can't appreciate the true value of Native flute music until you see that men came close to obliterating this incredible art with rigorous assimilation rules. The 1900's brought with it tough rules for Native Americans that tried to suffocate their culture and people. Together with many other Indigenous traditions, these rules had a harsh impact on the dispersion of Native flute music. It wasn't until the mid-1900's that assimilation laws started to lighten and Native traditions were able to be practiced within the Tribe and in public once again. Over time, the regard for the Native American flute heightened to the extent that flute makers began fabricating these instruments in large quantities to sell, and not just for personal playing purposes. The materials used to make the flutes also advanced from undeveloped crude instruments to more sophisticated, with the use of modern tools and the ability to obtain different kinds of woods, plastics and metals.

Now days, there are a variety of options available when deciding on a Native style flute, and it is just a matter of personal preference. There are some tips you should follow when shopping around. There are many different kinds of flutes, but all have one of two different sound tones. The sound tone of the flute is based on whether it is a Plains style or a Woodlands style. A Plains style flute creates a buzzing type sound while a Woodlands style creates a bell sound. No matter which type of flute you buy, it is a good idea to look at the characteristics of that specific instrument, including the mouthpiece, size, shape and number of holes, in order to choose one that you are comfortable playing. Native American flutes are also fashioned of various types of wood ranging from exquisite, rather expensive woods, to basic pieces of pine, cane or bamboo.

Thanks to the widespread enthusiasm of flute music, you can now buy Native American flutes online, in various music stores, and in specialty shops that sell Indian musical instruments and southwest home decorating accessories. If you are interested in finding a simple instrument for playing or decorative purposes, or are looking for genuine Indian musical instruments to use in Indian powwows and ceremonies, consider keeping the traditions and music of Indigenous people alive with the tranquil tones of Native American flutes.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is the director of Mission Del Rey and offers free information online about choosing Native American flutes for ceremonial playing purposes. For more information visit http://www.missiondelrey.com
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