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Whistle

Sioux

Date:
19th century
Geography:
Northern Great Plains
Dimensions:
Overall: 67.3 cm (26 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Aerophone-Whistle Flute-whistle
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.2058
  • Description

    With a carved wooden effigy to represent a stylized crane's beak, this whistle has no fingerholes, which limits the range of pitches to those produced by the player varying the air pressure. The sole opening in the shaft of the whistle is the duct window. This whistle was carved and hollowed from a single piece of wood and wrapped in red-dyed strips of reeds. Two braided lengths of sweetgrass are lashed to the underside of the whistle, as sweetgrass is considered sacred and used as a means of purification in many tribes. A collar of red-dyed, quilled spokes surrounds the stylized crane's beak. Small rolled-metal cones are attached to the collar and used to secure dyed down feathers. Two elongated tethers with feather adornment are attached at the collar's base.

  • References

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Oceanica and America. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1913, vol. II, pg. 118.



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