Cherokee Princess - Making Native American Flutes
Making Native American Flutes
Who Says There is No Such Thing as a Cherokee Princess?
It's not often that you get the chance to do something that is truly unique and meaningful.
I have been reaching into the depths of my ancestry... to touch my Cherokee roots.
I decided to make a Native American flute. I knew of a place that offered classes in flute-making, so I decided to start there.
The piece of wood I selected was Bloodwood from Central and South America. It was beautifully luminescent and deeply red. It is called "blood" wood because the sap is red and when it gets injured, the trees appear to bleed.
This particular piece of wood was warped and twisted. The master flute-maker said, "It will take a lot of care and work, but I think we can make this into a beautiful flute." I thought about that for a moment...
WE are "twisted" and "warped" but the Master, with His special care can make something beautiful out of us! I just HAD to try... in honor of my Savior!
We shaved and planed the wood until it was a perfect fit. We glued it with Liquid Nails and clamped it tight. The next week, we put it on the lathe for the true test. Would it break apart? Or, would it survive the strain?
This is my BEAUTIFUL Blood-wood flute!
See My Beautiful Blood-wood Native American Flute!
Making More Native American Flutes
I enjoyed making the first flute so much that I decided to make a SECOND flute! This time it is out of Black Walnut. It is lower and mellow... definitely a different personality from the first.
Then, I decided to make a THIRD Native American flute. It is a "drone" flute out of Curly Maple. It's actually two flutes together. You can play them both at the same time like a flute duet. It's truly beautiful! It took three hours to tune, though...
You first calculate which keys are possible due to the length and size of the shaft and mark the natural placement of your fingers along the barrel. Then you make holes, play each note, shave off a little more to lift the pitch, check each of the other notes, and lift them little by little, and continue until the flute's notes collectively lift to the proper pitch grouping in the chosen key. (I like to use a tuning app to test each pitch.)
Walnut Native American Flute, and Curly Maple Drone Flutes
Symbolism of the Snake on My Drone Flute
I noticed that the mouthpiece of my drone flute looked much like a Python head. The symbol of the "snake" to the Native Americans can be good or bad: wisdom or corruption. I decided to make sure it was a good snake... so I added eyes and feathers to make it a Quetzequatle, or the feathered serpent. It represented the Great White God that visited the Americas in ancient times.
I added Mayan temple designs on the side and a rising sun. To me it means that through Christ and the Temple, we can have Eternal Life.
My Cherokee Princess Dress and Moccasins
Parable of the Flutes
So, I began to think about how these flutes were once part of a living thing... like we used to be in the presence of God.
They were cut off... much like the way we have been spiritually removed from heaven.
Then, with love and caring we can take it in our hands and blow new life into it.... so it can give back something truly beautiful....
So God does with us... He breathes new life into us and makes us into something truly beautiful.