Duct flute

Possibly Sioux people
mid-19th century

Object Place: Possibly South Dakota, United States


Length 51.7 cm, diameter 2.7 cm (Length 20 3/8 in., diameter 1 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, sinew

On View

Native North America Gallery (Gallery LG34)


Musical Instruments



Cylindrical body of wood constructed in two halves, partially encased with heartsack (?) and bound together in six places with thin red sinew. Tied around body in nine places are strips of leather with dangling ends, one suspending sparrow-hawk claw and one suspending small strip of animal fur. rectangular window covered by external duct block of wood carved with shape of horse and bound to body with leather. Proximal end slightly convex with small blow hole at center. Six equally-spaced fingerholes in distal half of body.


1947, gift of Roberta Campbell Lawson, Tulsa, Oklahoma, to the Philbrook Museum of Art; after 1982, sold at auction, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before 1984, Tad Johnson, London, England; by 1984, sold by Johnson to Douglas Deihl, Northampton, Massachusetts; 1984, gift of Deihl to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 13, 1984)

Credit Line

Helen and Alice Colburn Fund