Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Whistle, 19th century
    United States
    Wood, metal, feathers
    The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.2058)

    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.

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    On view: Gallery 681
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  • Whistle, 19th century
    United States
    Wood, metal, feathers
    The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.2058)


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