Measuring 24 1/2" in length, with four direction holes, this unsplit Peppertree (Shinus molle) branch flute, is soulfully and resonantly tuned to an F# minor pentatonic scale, modes 1&4, playing 3 upper octave notes. Much of the beautiful bark has been left on, sanded down to the finely finished wood grain at the tone holes. All knot holes have been inlaid with crushed malachite stone. Deer lacing with malachite 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, covered by the lacing, has been designed into the air chamber. 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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