Native American flute makers come in all stripes. While one maker might descend from full Native American heritage, another could well have mostly Irish ancestry. Due to the popularization of the Native American flute, especially over the last 30 years, many “non-natives” excel in crafting artistic flutes in the Native American tradition.
Where to find a flute maker
Looking for a flute maker? Look in such places as…
- street festivals
- state and county fairs
- on the pow wow circuit
- flute circles
- World Flute Society
- online like you found CarolinaWoodenFlutes.com
The flute maker for flutes offered here
Let me introduce you to the Native American style flute maker for the flutes we offer…
I am thrilled David O’Neal designs and handcrafts the flutes offered at CarolinaWoodenFlutes.com. David has had a long career in the Information Technology field. But a skilled artisan at heart, his magnificent flute creations reveal his real love. His talents regarding flute making start with his imagination, finding sources for his raw materials, conceptualizing flute designs and finely crafting wood into exquisite musical instruments. His flute creations could hang on your wall with pride, enhancing the ambiance of a room. Yet the mellow, mesmerizing, meditative sound these sculpted flutes pour forth strikes most at the heart of people who hear them.
David exhibits meticulous care from the start of the process, when he selects woods for character and beauty, to the end when he completes the flutes. He crafts his stock of flutes to exacting standards for visual presentation and sound. You know when you purchase one of his flutes that he has taken great care to “get it right” each step of the way. For this reason David guarantees his flutes for a life time against defects due to craftsmanship or material failure. Interested in his craft process? Find a rough outline on my Native American style flute making page.
All of David’s flutes have six finger holes. Each is tuned and retuned to a minor pentatonic scale. Using cross-fingering a player can reproduce the full chromatic scale (doe, a deer, a female deer; fa a far, far way to run; so a needle pulling thread, etc.) which underlies familiar Western music. The beauty of the Native American flute lies in the ability to choose either scale or simply – as Native Americans historically – play from the heart without music. One old quote goes something like this: “The flute maker takes the heart of the wood in creating a flute and the player puts it back in by playing the flute from the heart…” I love the thought!
Two types of Native American flute makers
Native American flutes fall into two categories: those made by a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe and flutes made by those that are not a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe. If made by a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe, the product can rightly carry the “Native American Made” label. Like so many other Native American flute makers (not a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe), one could describe David’s flutes appropriately as “Native American style” flutes.