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Making Flutes

This is a flute I made after being inspired by Jonah Thompson of Navajo Flutes at a Pow Wow in Mesa Pioneer Park maybe about 2003. I always look for his flutes at Navajo gatherings and large Pow Wows and have owned at least 3 of his flutes. He told me that some flute makers on the reservation use sunflower stalks for their flutes. It is a natural tube with an easily removed styrafoam like substance inside of the fairly hard and stiff outer walls. I used a bamboo stick to clear it out. I like to make things with simple tools when possible. Tom Mills of Paleo Planet owns this flute.

These are 3 flutes I made in 2006 or 2007. I may start a flute and not finish for years. I make them by formula (roughly) and feel so the piece must inspire me. Some would say the piece must speak to me. Certainly all flutes have a best voice that I can coax out of them and I may not find it for some time. I use branches and blanks, the top and bottom ones it this image are branch flutes, and the middle one is a blank or board flute.


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