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Courting Flute, Plains Indians, Northern Plains Region, early 20th century

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Courting flute, Plains Indians, Northern Plains Region, early 20th century

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NMM 4051.  Courting flute, Plains Indians, Northern Plains Region, early 20th century. End-blown, external duct flute with stylized wooden rabbit saddle. Leather-bound wooden saddle not only holds stone chamfer in place, but also prevents air leakage. Bent copper tubing fitted to end of flute as mouthpiece. Arne B. Larson Collection, 1979.


Saddle and Mouthpiece

Saddle Mouthpiece

Wooden saddle carved as a stylized rabbit with articulated head, eyes, ears, front legs, and tail; space between front legs serves to direct air flow; three holes carved for tying binding thong through the saddle, instead of over it.

Mouthpiece made of a section of copper tubing, bent and fit into beveled wooden end of flute; paper wrapped around end of tube inserted into flute to ensure air-tight closure.

Go to Checklist of Musical Instruments of the Indigenous Peoples of North America

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