Institute of American Indian Studies hosts program on magic of courting flutes
The Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn., is topping off Valentine’s Day week with a program on the magic of courting flutes that allows visitors to delve into traditional Native American music on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 15.
Ojibway artist and musician Allan Madahbee will explain the cultural significance and the haunting sound of the Native American courting flute. He will tell the legend of the courting flute, highlighting these instruments that are deeply rooted in the traditions of Eastern Woodland indigenous peoples.
Participants will see and hear a variety of courting flutes and will have the chance to examine them as they listen to their soothing sound. Courting flutes are available in the gift shop and there will be a limited selection of courting flutes available for purchase on the day of the event. If you already own a flute, feel free to bring it along.
Born on the shores of Lake Huron, Madahbee is a member of the Ojibway (Chippewa) Nation that has pursued the traditional arts and crafts of his ancestors. He has been making Native American flutes for about 10 years.
“I had always thought they were a product of the Southwest Indian tribes, but a book that I found that was written during the 1800s about Chippewa culture, had a passage about the Chippewa flutes, along with pictures,” he said. “This made me realize that they were indeed a part of my Chippewa culture. Knowing that my ancestors constructed these flutes for hundreds of years has inspired me to continue this tradition. Also, the haunting sound from these mystical instruments is a large part of my inspiration.”
Along with constructing Woodland flutes, beaded moccasins, woodcarvings, Native American regalia, and rock sculptures, Madahbee always returns to his artistic roots in paintings and weavings. Mainly self-taught, Madahbee attended school with fellow Ojibway artists Blake Debassige and James Simon - two well known Anishnawbe artists that are respected and have their paintings displayed around the world.
American Indian Studies, 38 Curtis Road, Washington. Saturday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m. Space limited, reservations suggested. For a spot, call the Institute for American Indian Studies at 860-868-0518 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The program included in price of admission: $10; $8 seniors; $6 children; IAIS members free.