Tobacco Prayer Flute in Gm


























































































































Tobacco Prayer Flute in Low Dm





                                                                           


                                             
Tobacco Prayer Flute in Gm

Brightly and resonantly voiced to a mid range Gm pentatonic scale (A=440), this Tree Tobacco ( Nicotiana glauca ) Prayer Flute was bored out unsplit, maintaining the natural appearance and integrity of the branch.  Most of the bark has been retained, well sealed to prevent separation from the wood.  Crushed abalone shell has been inlaid into a few of the knots and branchlet stubs.   Elk lacing, adorned with two abalone beads, lends its spirit and strength to secure the bird to her nest.  To help prevent wetout, the bird has been fitted with a cedar shoe.  A drain hole, covered by the lacing, has been drilled into the air chamber.  The whole branch has been well sealed, inside and out, so that neither of the alkaloids in Tree Tobacco (nicotine and anabasine) come into contact with the player.   

Tree Tobacco is a species of wild tobacco native to South America that can grow to the size of a small tree.  It has naturalized to other parts of the world, including here in Southern California where the Cahuilla Indians used its leaves "interchangeably with other tobacco species in hunting rituals and as a poultice to treat swellings, bruises, cuts, wounds, boils, sores, inflamed throat, and swollen glands." (source)
 Various types of tobacco have been used traditionally in native cultures throughout the Americas as offerings to the spirits, for planting, for gathering food, for healings and for the Native American Pipe Ceremony. (source)

 

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