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Courting Flute

Lakota (Teton Sioux)

Not on view

An abstract likeness of a calling elk is incorporated into this musical instrument. The head of the majestic animal reaches forward, mouth open; the antlers lie back across its outstretched neck. A finely carved owl faces the player near the flute’s mouthpiece. Many Plains Indian societies associated the elk with love and passion. As part of courtship, Lakota suitors played flutes to mimic a bull elk’s whistling call.

Courting Flute, Wood, pigment, native-tanned leather, feather, Lakota (Teton Sioux)

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