Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Duct Flute

19th century
British Columbia, Canada
Native American (Haida or Skidegate)
Argillite, ivory
Height: 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm) Diameter: 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Aerophone-Whistle Flute-recorder
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
Not on view
Carved from a single piece of argillite with bone (ivory?) embellishments near the duct window and around the tone holes, this flute-like most argillite wares-was not meant to be functional. Three figures adorn the frontal plane of the flute. Two human figures, with hair extending the length of their backs, are depicted with limbs grasping the flute at the middle and bottom of the shaft. A bird figure, perhaps a hawk or a raven, with outstretched wings is positioned at the end nearest the duct. Form-line design elements are incorporated into the overall composition of the piece.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Oceanica and America. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1913, vol. II, pg. 77.

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