The flute is the instrument of Love. Its haunting sound is 'the wind that breathes life into the heart'.
The Kiowa, Sioux and Zuni peoples were among the many Native American tribes who played the flute during courting rituals. The instrument was also used to accompany ceremonies such as the Peyote, Potlach and Sundance. Some tribes even used the flute for giving war signals, however its primary use was for courtship and fertility rites.
Flutes were made from a variety of materials, including the wingbone of an eagle or branches from cedar and birchwood. Some tribes also used cane and reed.
Making the instrument was a ritual in itself. It was a sacred activity and treated with the utmost respect. Some flutes were painted with sacred symbols or adorned with feathers and hair. Others were shaped according to an individual's spirit animal. The number of sound holes also varied from three up to six, or more and these had their own meanings as well. For instance, six holes represented Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Four Directions (East, South, West and North).