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Courting Flute, Mescalero Apache, Arizona, late 19th century

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Courting flute, Mescalero Apache, late 19th century

Side view

Top view

NMM 871.  Courting flute, Mescalero Apache, Arizona, late 19th century. End-blown, external duct flute with stylized wooden bird saddle. Branch split, hollowed, and assembled using resin to fill gaps. Shallow groove carved into underside of saddle allowing limited amount of air to pass from upper to lower air holes. End of flute carved as duck head with beak, nostrils and eyes in black accents. Line-drawn butterfly below mouthpiece and near end, outlined in black with red accents on wings and antennae. Arne B. Larson Collection, 1979.

Duck Head Carving

Side of duck head

Top of duck head


External duct

Hand-carved, wooden saddle in form of stylized bird with elongated beak; groove carved into back of saddle above lower air hole; flattened area carved out of shaft below saddle facilitates a tight seal between saddle and shaft.



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

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