History of the Native American Flute

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  2. January 13, 2018 1:50 am

History of the Native American Flute

The history of the Native American flute is traced from the Ancestral Pueblo peoples of Oasisamerica, all the way back to the tribes of Mesoamerica.

Evolved from flutes created in Central America thousands of years ago, the traditional Native American flute is believed to have been designed by people who populated the Four Corners region of the United States. This region of land spans from the beautiful Utah desert skies to the sun swept mesas in New Mexico. It also encompasses the southwestern corner of Colorado and the desert of northwestern Arizona. The Ancient Pueblo people, sometimes referred to incorrectly as the Anasazi, created the archetypal flute that would eventually spread from sea to sea.

There are many stories dealing with the origins of the first Native American flute. One such tale involves a natural occurrence which the people would then recreate. The story begins with a woodpecker pecking many holes in a hollow branch as it searched for termites. A great wind came and blew through the branch and created the most beautiful music that had ever been heard. People from far and near came and discovered the branch playing beautiful notes as the wind flowed over and through the holes.

The flute became a significant part of Native American culture as it was used to create music for dances and had spiritual and meditational purposes.

The oldest surviving wooden Native American flute was found by an Italian explorer in 1823 as he was searching for the source of the Mississippi river.

The distinctive sound of the Native American flute is easily recognizable today. Many modern recordings now exist, showcasing the ancient instrument and its haunting melodies.

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