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date: 15 November 2019

Tsuhni muyakelocked

  • J. Richard Haefer

Extract

Duct whistle of the Comanche people of Oklahoma. It is called by other names among many Plains and neighbouring Indian peoples, e.g. the Ute gusau-ōka, and the Choctaw o’skula. The whistle is made from an eagle, turkey, or goose wing bone about 10 to 18 cm long. Marrow and fat are removed and the proximal end opened for blowing. A V- or U-shaped mouth is cut on the side of the bone about a quarter of the length from the proximal end. A plug made of pitch is inserted in the bone to form a duct directing the air toward the lip of the mouth. The bone may be decorated with incised designs or covered with bead- or quill-work; white eagle feathers are usually attached near the proximal end. A leather thong is attached to the bone so the whistle can be worn around the neck of the player. Bone whistles are used for signalling and in Native American Church ceremonies and are required for the Sun Dance. In some cultures they were and may still be part of a medicine bundle....

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