Measuring 20 3/4" in length, with four tuning holes, this unsplit Peppertree (Shinus molle) branch flute is clearly and soulfully tuned to mid range A minor pentatonic scale, modes 1 & 4, playing 3 upper register tones. Much of the beautiful bark has been left on, well sealed to insure its continued adherence, in contrast to the finely finished wood grain. All knot holes and small surface checks have been inlaid with crushed Turquoise. Elk lacing with Turquoise and brass beads holds the bird to the nest. To help prevent wetout, the bird has been fitted with a redwood shoe and a drain hole has been designed into the air chamber, covered by the lacing. The branch for this flute was gathered sustainably, with respect and prayer, from a tree that grows in the San Marcos Creek watershed of Southern California.
Shamanic use of Peppertree: Brought to Mexico by the Spaniards from South America hundreds of years ago,
Peppertree now grows abundantly in the wild there, where it is known by the name of "pirul", also naturalizing throughout the American Southwest. It has become an important part of Mexican traditional medicine, as its branches are used to "sweep" a person's body and thus "cast away all bad luck" and the "evil eye". This ceremony, called "una barrida con pirul" is common practice in many rural communities in Mexico today.
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