Kokopelli's Realm

In Memoriam
Robert (Ekos) Rothafel was a special friend, a special musician.
He died in 2006. I dedicate this page to him.

The Native American Flute

The pages below are postings regarding the Native American Flute.
A variety of material; music, songs, stories, and instructional material will be found here.

(from The Native American Flute Book by Bob Edgar)
told by Carol Proudfoot Edgar.
Ancient stories and stone carvings indicate that the flute, like the drum and rattle, has been made and played for tens of thousands of years. These instruments have always been considered gifts from the Spirits. Oral tradition often conveys the circumstances under which these gifts came to the people. Details of the stories vary since the Spirits of the land vary (types of trees, birds, animals). This story comes from the Lakota Sioux. Cedar flutes of modern design are thought to have been used first by the Sioux.

(from The Native American Flute Book by Bob Edgar)
Just as there are myths concerning the origin of the flute, so there is a strong, powerful oral tradition regarding the original Flute player who brings prosperity to the people and the land through his music. In the Southwest, this figure is depicted as Kokopelli, the Humpback Flute Player. Note the slide show of petroplyph images at the bottom of the page.

A little primer on how to play the Native American flute. It is derived from a more detailed book I wrote and does not require ability to read music. It is "by the number".

This primer is also available as a pdf file. To get it, download this link: fluideguide

In Safari on a Mac, clicking on the link simply opens the file. If you want to download the file you need to hold down the control key while you click and then select 'download linked file'.

Playing the Native American Flute

This series of pages offers short videos on how to play the Native American flute.

Here are four shamanic chants that are often sung at shamanic gatherings. In addition to the words I have included the music with fingering for the Native American flute. The scores are from my flute book. you will also see a music controller whic you can turn on and off to hear the chant played as a midi file.

A picture of my most treasured flute, Made by Hawk LittleJohn, accompanied by a sound file of me playing Hawk's flute.

This song came to me at a ceremonial burial of a faun, killed by dogs, at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, CA. I am playing Hawk's Flute. The drawing is by a participant in one of Carol's workshops.


This has been at our site for some time. It is a picture of Carol striking the Tibetan Bowl at a sunrise ceremony in the Mojave Desert several years ago. The bowl is used quite a bit in shamanic ceremonies. The sound file (of me striking the same bowl) should activate automatically. It repeats endlessly. Take a moment to meditate here! To get more than one bowl playing, click-hold on the background in your browser to open more windows (open frame in Explorer, new window with this frame in Navigator).

A slide show of a Drumming Ceremony to greet the Sun. Images and sound track are from a reatreat in the Mojave desert.

Me (Bob) reading the first bit from Chapter IX of Winnie the Pooh. This was my favorite childhood book. For me the story has shamanic overtones. The central image shows Piglet looking for help. At the right is an animated gif of pooh struggling to right himself on his honey pot ship he called "The Floating Bear" as he goes for help. In the background, Christopher Robin and Pooh are going to rescue Piglet in "The Brain of Pooh".

This page was posted February 27, 2000