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Courting Whistle

Santee Dakota (Eastern Sioux)

Not on view

The slender elongated form of this single-note whistle terminates in the shape of an abstract, long-beaked bird, identified as either a snipe or sandhill crane. The bird’s minimalistic portrayal radiates with life. Its beak is open, as though calling to a mate, and brass-tack eyes glimmer atop the black painted face. In Plains courtship, young men often played flutes to attract the attention of women.

Courting Whistle, Wood, birch bark, sinew, pigment, brass tacks, Santee Dakota (Eastern Sioux)

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