Measuring 21 3/4" in length, with four tuning holes, this unsplit Peppertree (Shinus molle) branch flute is sweetly and accurately tuned to mid range A minor pentatonic scale, modes 1 & 4, playing 3 upper register notes. Much of the beautiful bark has been left on, well sealed to insure its continued adherence to the wood, but sanded down at the tone holes to decrease the wall thickness there, exposing the finely finished wood grain. The 19 knots following a Golden Spiral pattern around the branch have been inlaid with crushed Turquoise stone. Elk lacing with Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and brass beads secures the bird to its 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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