Duct whistle and case

early 20th century

Object Place: United States, Great Plains region


Length 17.7 cm, diameter 1.2 cm (Length 6 15/16 in., diameter 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Bone and leather

Not On View


Musical Instruments



Cylindrical body of eagle bone with V-shaped window. Duct block formed of pitch (?). Proximal end serrated. Red-filled incised designs (representing tepee with smoke rising from top) just below window. Cord of leather tied to distal end to facilitate removal from case. Tubular case of leather sewn at seam with leather strips. Several thongs of leather tied at each end pierce perimeter of circular closures of leather. Surface of case has polychrome painted decoration of complex iconography, comprised (from bottom to top) of orange band with undulating top, purple band in zigzag pattern, six yellow crescent moons, three red four-pointed stars (with purple dots in center), five blue diamonds (with purple diamonds in center), three red lightning bolts, four light green crosses, band of seven yellow circles, thin black line, wavy purple stripe, and four orange triangles.


1984, sold by Douglas Deihl, Northampton, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 13, 1984)

Credit Line

Helen and Alice Colburn Fund