Flute types: top two, Bird Head flutes; bottom
two, Zitkala flutes.
Example of Bird Head flute.
Example of bead work on flute.
Example of wood carving on flute.
Consistent with the traditions of the Lakota, all
of my flutes are made of Western red cedar, also known as clear
Each flute is worked
completely by hand for the entire process, which takes 25 to 40
hours from start to finish.
Just as each piece
of wood is different, so too are the voices of the flutes made from
Each flute has a sound
that may never be created again. Each is truly one of a kind. For
this reason, the prices also vary from flute to flute.
Bead work: Brain-tanned or
commercially-tanned deerskin is adorned with Italian glass seed beeds,
glass crow beads, solid fench brass beads and tin or brass cones,
fastened with elk or buffalo sinew.
Here, pieces of my traditional
dance regalia show the intricacy of what can be done with lazy-stitch,
a way of fashioning beads used by Lakota people.
Whether it is something traditional
or taylor-made, bead work adds a finishing touch.
Front of a beaded yoke.
Traditional elk-hide hand drum with cottonwood
frame, painted design and beaded beater.
Another traditional drum and design.
Drums: Made of elk hide, these
drums are strong enough to endure the heat of a sweatlodge, where
most deer drums are too thin.
The frames of the drums are made
from cottonwood, and the beaters are made of wood and hair-stuffed
leather with beaded handles.
Designs may be traditional or custom
Thomas White Hawk's e-mail: email@example.com
Webmaster's e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Page design and photos by Eric M. Smith. All original
artwork by Thomas White Hawk.