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Native American Flutes Resourses:
Please visit INAFA website
Native Amercian flute is a duct flute. There are two different types (styles) of Native American flute, the plains flute and the woodlands flute, each with slightly different construction. "Plains Style" and "Woodlands Style" refer to design and sound attributes.
The Native American flute is the only flute in the world constructed with two air chambers - there is a wall inside the flute between the top (slow) air chamber and the bottom chamber which has the whistle and finger holes. The top chamber also serves as a secondary resonator, which gives the flute its distinctive sound. There is a hole at the bottom of the "slow" air chamber and a (generally) square hole at the top of the playing chamber. A block (or "fetish") is tied on top of the flute. In a plains flute, a spacer is added or a channel is carved into the block itself to form a thin, flat air stream for the whistle hole (or "window"). In contrast, a woodlands flute has the channel carved into the top of the flute, allowing for a less reedy sound.
The "traditional" Native American flute was constructed using measurements based on the body - the length of the flute would be the distance from armpit to wrist, the length of the top air chamber would be one fist-width, the distance from the whistle to the first hole also a fist-width, the distance between holes would be one thumb-width, and the distance from the last hole to the end would generally be one fist-width.
By law, natives made "Native American Flutes," while non-native make "Native American Style Flutes."