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Haida flute

This is a native American duct flute made of hard, fine black silt argillite, a sedimentary rock that only occurs in Haida Gwaii islands, also known as "black slate." This natural resource is very brittle and difficult to carve, a cultural tradition kept among the Haida people. Usually carved in the form of totemic poles, this example features an eagle and three frogs. The mouthpiece is shaped with a slanted beak and is covered with a metal cap of lead-based metal, probably pewter. Six fingerholes are carved with coves along the body and the distal end is also covered with a cap of the same metal.

  • Culture:Haida
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:Extensively carved throughout. The animal figures have small inlaid dots of lead-based metal (probably pewter).
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:421.221.12 Open flutes with internal duct with fingerholes
  • Repository:Cyfarthfa Castle Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 510mm