Once many generations ago,
the people had drums, gourd rattles and bull roarers, but no flutes.
At that long-ago time, a young man went out to hunt.
Meat was scarce, and the people in his camp were hungry.
He found the tracks of an elk and followed them for a long time.
The elk, wise and swift, is the one who owns the love charm.
If a man posesses Elk Medicine, the girl he likes can't help sleeping with him.
But, this young man I am talking about, had no Elk Medicine.

After many hours he finally sighted his game.
He was skilled with the bow and arrows, and had a fine new bow and quiver full of arrows.
Yet the elk always managed to stay just out of range, leading him on and on.
The young man was so intent on following his prey that he hardly noticed where he went.
When night came he found himself deep within a thick forest.
The tracks had disappeared, and so had the elk, and there was no moon.
He realised that he was lost and that it was too dark to find his way out.
Luckily, he came upon a stream with cool clear water.
He had been careful enough to bring a hide bag of
"Canpa" {Chahng-pah} and "Wasna" {Whahsh-nah},
dried meat pounded with berries and kidney fat.
This was a strong and filling food that would keep a man going for many days.
After he had drank and eaten,
he rolled himself into his fur robe,
propped his back against a tree, and tried to rest.

But he couldn't sleep, the forest was full of strange noises; the cries of night animals,
the hooting owls, and the groaning of trees in the wind.
It was as if he heard these sounds for the first time.
Suddenly there was an entirely new sound,
of a kind that neither he nor anyone else had ever heard before.
It was mournful and ghost like.
It made him afraid, so much so that he drew his robe tightly around himself
and reached for his bow to make sure it was properly strung.
On the other hand, the sound was like a song, sad but beautiful, full of love, hope and yearning.
Then before he knew it, he was alseep.
He dreamed that the bird called
"Wagnuka pe sa" {Whahg-noo-kah pay shah},
the Redheaded Woodpecker, appeared singing the strangely beautiful song and telling him,
"Okihan, chi waonspekiya niye" {Hoe-kee-hahng Chee Whah-own-shpay-kee-yah nee-yay}
"follow me and I will teach you"

When the hunter awoke, the sun was already high.
On a branch of the tree against which he was leaning, he saw a redheaded woodpecker.
The bird flew away to another tree, and another, but never very far,
looking back all the time at the young man as if to say, "Come on !!"
Then once more he heard that wonderful song,
and his heart yearned to find the singer.
Flying toward the sound, leading the hunter,
the bird flitted through the leaves,
while its bright red top made it easy to follow.
At last it lighted on a Cedar Tree and began hammering on a branch,
making a noise like the fast beating of a small drum.
Suddenly there was a gust of wind,
and again the hunter heard the beautiful sound right above him.

Then he discovered that the sound came from the dead branch
that the woodpecker was tapping his beak on.
He realised also that it was the wind that made the sound
as it whistled through the holes that the bird had made.

"Kola {ko-lah}, {My friend}" said the hunter,
"Let me take this branch home,
you can make yourself another one!"

He took the branch,
a hollow piece of Cedar wood filled with the holes that the woodpecker had drilled.
A branch that was about the length of his forearm.
He walked back to the village bringing no meat, but happy all the same.

In his "Tipi" {Tea-pea} the young man tried to make the branch sing for him.
He blew on it, he waved it around, but no sound came.
This made him so sad, he wanted so much to hear that wonderful new sound.
He purified himself in the sweat lodge and climbed to the top of a lonely hill.
There, resting with his back against a large rock,
he fasted, going without food or water for four days and nights,
Praying for the
"Hanbleceyapi" {Hahng-blay-chay-yah-pee},
{crying for the vision} which would tell him how to make the branch sing.
In the middle of the fourth night,
"Wagnuka" {Whahg-noo-kah}, the bird with the bright red top appeared saying,
"Yanka niye" {yahng-kah Nee-yay} "Watch me,"
turning himself into a man, he showed the hunter how to make the branch sing,
Saying again and again,
"Yanka niye, lecon" {yahng-kah Nee-yay Lay-chone} "Watch me, and do this now,"
and in his dream the young man watched and observed all that was done, very carefully.

When he awoke, he found a cedar tree,
and asking of it's forgiveness, he broke off a branch, and working many hours,
hollowed it out with a bowstring drill,
just as he had seen the woodpecker do in his dream.
He shaped the branch into the form of a bird with a long neck and an open beak.
He painted the top of the bird's head with
"Washasha" {Whahsh-hahsh-hah}, the sacred red color.
And then he prayed, bathing The
"Ciyotanka" {Chee-yoe-tahng-kah}, The Flute
in the smoke of the sacred incenses. First he used sage, then cedar and finally sweetgrass.
He fingered the holes as he had seen the man-bird do in his vision,
meanwhile blowing softly into the mouthpiece.
All at once, there was the song,
ghost like with a beauty beyond words,
drifting all the way to the village,
where the people were astounded and joyful to hear it.
With the help of the wind and the woodpecker,
the young man had brought to them the
"Ciyotanka" {Chee-yoe-tahng-kah} the first flute.

In the village lived an "Itanchan" {Hee-tahng-chahng}, a big chief.
"Itanchan" {Hee-tahng-chahng} had a daughter who was beautiful beyond mere words,
but who was also very proud,
and she was convinced that there was no young man good enough for her.
Many had come courting, but she had sent them all away.
Now, the hunter who had made the flute decided that she was just the woman for him.
Thinking of her, he composed a special song, and one night standing behind a tall tree,
he played it on his
"Ciyotanka" {Chee-yoe-tahng-kah} in the hopes that it might have a charm to make her love him.

All at once the "Wicincilla" {Whee-cheeng-cheel-lah} heard it.
She was sitting in her father's
"Tipi" {Tea-pea} eating buffalo hump meat and tongue, and feeling good.
She wanted to stay there, in the
"Tipi" {Tea-pea} by the fire, but her feet wanted to go outside.
She pulled back, but her feet pulled her forward, and the feet won.
Her head said "Go slow, go slow!" but her heart said, "faster, faster!"
She saw the young man standing in the moonlight, she heard the flute.
Her head said, "don't go to him, he's poor,"
but her feet said, "go, run!" and again the feet prevailed.

So they stood face to face. The girl's head told her to be silent,
but her heart told her to speak, and speak she did, saying,
Koshkalaka {Koe-shkah-lah-kah}, young man, I am yours altogether and forever."
So they lay down together, the young man and the
"Wicincilla" {Whee-cheeng-cheel-lah} under the one blanket.

Later she told him, "Koshkalaka {Koe-shkah-lah-kah}, My warrior, I like you.
Let your parents send a gift to my father, the chief.
No matter how small, it will be accepted.
Let your father speak for you to my father.
Do it soon!
Do it now!"

And so the two fathers quickly agreed to the wishes of their children.
The proud
"Wicincilla" {Whee-cheeng-cheel-lah} became the hunters wife, and he himself became a Great Chief.
All the other young men had heard and seen what the flute did for the hunter,
soon they too began to whittle cedar branches into the shape of bird's heads with long necks and open beaks.
The beautiful love music traveled from tribe to tribe and made young girls feet go where they shouldn't.

And that's how the flute was brought to the people,
thanks to the cedar,
the woodpecker and a young man, who had shot no elk,
but knew how to listen and learn from his Elders.


The Raven Flute in the key of mid F.

This aromatic eastern red cedar flute was created for Al Edwards (aka Wamduskasapa), a Columbia, MO resident of Dakota Sioux heritage. This Flute was handcrafted by John Ellis of Turtle Mound Flutes following the Sioux Traditions. The flute body has a very interesting color split that leaves the top half a lighter blond color and the bottom half the more common reddish tone. The raven fetish with forward stretching wings is carved from South American cocobolo. The very symbolic raven with a man's reflection image is burned below the nest area, and a raven in flight appears at the foot of this flute. The flying raven is embelished by the addition of a pink coral inlayed sun and a turquoise inlayed stream. The lace holding the fetish to the nest is cut from black-dyed deerskin.

When I first laid eyes upon this Flute. Even before I had it and played it for the first time.
I made the following comment to that talented Artisan.

I am so looking forward to being able to have that Golana within my fingers. Of being able to enjoy the sensation of it resting at my lips. Of finally, being able to hear the honey sweet song of it's voice. To enjoy the vibrations of it's spiritual heartbeat as its salacious voice expresses my Love for Mother Earth and the Great Mystery. As I examine this Flute I find that The Fetish is not quite what I asked for, BUT - It is what I truly needed and WANTED. Plus looking at and studying this Flute I see so VERY much more than what I had asked for. The 50/50 coloration reminds me of the Day / Night cycle and the stories of how Raven gave us the gift of light and why his beak, feathers and eyes are the black of ebony. The coloration of the Flute and the shape of The Fetish also reminds me of the tales of Horus,Ma'at,Thoth and thePyramid Texts.As I see the the figure beneath the Fetish I am reminded of the Sierra Miwok and their tales of the flood and of the stories of the death and rebirth of mankind. Looking at the figure at the foot of the flute I am reminded of the tails of and from:

Gluskabe - (Abenaki)
He'maskas - (Bella Bella)
Hugin and Munin - (Germanic)
Kutkh - (Itelmen and Koryak)
Kwekwaxa'we - (Kwakiutl)
Nanabozho - (Ojibwa)
Nankil'slas - (Haida)
Txamsem and We-gyet - (Tsimshian)
Wisakedjak - (Cree)
Yehl - (Tlingit)

So now This Golana has taken on an additional meaning, it also represents for me, The Raven's tales of creation, protection and rebirth. PLUS, mankind's many gifts from The Ravin, and the many sacrifices that
The Raven made so that the Human Nations were able to exist...

The Raven Flute in the key of mid A.

The Raven Flute in the key of mid G.

The Raven Flute in the key of mid C.

The Raven Flute in the key of mid D.

Helen Turner I thank you for this video composition

I'm The Ravin, a poor wanderer, a military retiree.
My dearest love is this land, our country. And that is my quandary.
Because I have listened to Grandfather Sun's wise decree,
In my heart I'm an Indian, whose people were once free.
But of late, it seems that my people are, lowly debris.
OH! Great Spirit, to you I send my prayers, from misery.

For all of my days, I've paid honor, to Grandmother Moon.
But upon my chosen path, tribulations have been strewn.
I leave The Offering, to Mother Earth, as if in stone it was hewn.
But it does seem that, to the land of my birth, I'm no longer attune.
I've given the Spirits, and Father Sky, Sacred Smoke's boon.
Can you tell me why, I do not hear Mother Nature's Tune?

On my Life's Journey, You have Counseled and Guided me, thru out my day,
But some how, within this crazy country, I've totally lost my way.
For The Trickster, has succeeded, in leading me astray.
To the heavens, I now send Tobacco's mighty bouquet.
Great Spirit, I call upon you, please, mend this disarray,
Spread this, to the world, let it be known, this communique.

The Sacred Sage and Fragrant Cedar, to the sky, I send
With The Holy Sweetgrass, their sacred scent, may it ascend.
The 4 sacred plant are given to the Great Spirit and the 4 Wind.
Trying to find a Craftsman of the Cedar Tree, that's to be my friend.
One who is blessed, with the empathy, that can comprehend
My heart, my mind, my soul, my path, that only he can mend.

For to carry my weak voice aloft, I look for The Flute.
I plead with you Great Spirit, my need is very acute.
Find for me one whose talent and skill are all so astute.
A Craftsman, whose achievements and reputation, are above repute.
Whose mentality will be mighty enough for this curse to commute.
One who can craft for me an instrument from Cedar's Shoot.

This supplication and desire have now been sent forth, far and wide.
I hunt and search the internet for a Craftsman, stateside.
Looking for a worthy one, my wishes now to confide.
One who hath the skill, the cognition, that can be applied
For creation of The Cedar Flute, of Woodpecker's pride.
I beg of thee, Oh Great Spirit, not to let, my wishes, be denied.

Success!! The one I have sought, for so long, has now been found.
For this man's home rests on the road, that they call Turtles Mound.
And what is so amazing. So very unique, that it is profound.
Our history and our training have similarities that abound.
His life and mine are so alike, that they share common ground.
Even our great ancestors are from First Nation's compound.

So now to this Craftsman, this Master, I humbly submit my request.
Making him aware of my motives, my needs, and my quest.
For The Cedar Flute, of Woodpecker's pride, made of wood, blessed.
To be endowed with my Totem, with that spirit, possessed.
This Craftsman understands my need, and he has acquiesced.
To construct an instrument that is known to the North, South, East and West.

As Master of the Sacred Cedar Wood, a Native Flute, he'll create.
My desires, needs and wants, in a Flute he'll fabricate.
First the wood is split, so a router its hunger, can sate.
Two chambers are created, so that they'll interrelate.
Then each section is blessed, rejoined, and secured with its mate.
The preliminary work's done, it's time to finish this Flute's estate.

Now the Cedar Wood is fashioned and molded to lay down it's foundation.
Next comes the baptism of fire, establishing, it's sacred vibration,
Searing six holes, tuning it's voice, for its audible enunciation.
Next, at the foot are now burnt to the 4 Wind, it's basic sanctification.
Prayers to each Spirit, blessing it, giving it it's soul, it's orientation.
What comes next, is most vital, for this is it's heart, NOT ornamentation.

Upon the nest of the Flute, sits Raven, with wings outspread.
There to guide my thoughts and music, thus sending them ahead.
Below the Fetish, rests my Spirit Guide, with arms widespread,
Caressing, encouraging, and nurturing, that shy musical thread.
At the foot, there's Raven flying, waiting to be musically fed.
Giving it's all to The Great Spirit, this winged thoroughbred.

And now this Cedar Flute must be sealed, so it's purity cannot fail,
As with any creation, this Flute must last and prevail.
So by enrobing it with Oil's vale, it will not go stale.
Fabrication and Prayers are done. I now await the mail.
That Dream Flute, Is now in my hands. But, at it's sight, I quail!
This glorious Dream. Am I worthy of playing it's musical scale?

For all of my life, I have dreamt, of a wondrous Flute of perfection.
I have ransacked humanities world, in my investigation.
Finally!! I've found The Flute, of my imagination.
To that talented Artisan, goes heart felt, recognition.
For I've regained a thing lost, with this, my acquisition.
I've succeeded. But, am I a competent musician?

This Flute I now raise, To my lowly lips, for the first time.
And now my lungs do breath life, into that musical rhyme.
I find its impossible to believe that this melody is mine!
From this tremendous Flute, heavenward those beautiful notes do now climb.
To The 4 Wind, and thus to The Great Spirit, they do twine.
Singing his praises, as if I now stood within a Shrine!

John, What have you created? How can this possibly be?
For I'm a simple man, who dost now doubt his sanity,
As I look, at this wonder, that's made of the Cedar Tree.
I now hear the words of The Bard who's describing a new vanity,
For this is now, the life, the death, the rebirth, of my reality.
I have found The Great Flute, that transcends mediocrity.

I tremble, quiver and shiver like a frightened swimmer on that shore,
Of vermin infested waters, terror of that music, I adore.
Against all reason, Afraid, my lips to place at Flutes door.
Timidly, that Flute I raise. AND again, my soul doth soar.
Passion's fire rebuilding, my lost musical rapport.
As that flame within my breast, creates a salacious score.

I'm lost to eroticism, that all consuming flame,
That hast burnt away my reason, and any thought inane.
Trapping my incapacitated heart, as my reason is slain!
And still that crazy passion increases, with a lyrical disdain.
As wild music ripples, thru out those challenges and pains.
From that terrifying rhythmic uproar within my veins.

That vicious refrain, hast my body in a grip, so unbreakable.
That my heart is enraptured with desire quite, unmentionable.
Causing my loins to smoulder with passion, insatiable.
Creating a tune that burns with a flame, unquenchable.
That desire for more. For where art the bard and minstrel,
Their words, their passion, their rhythm, that's now so trivial.

I am totally lost, to the refrain, of that musical campaign.
That uses my fingers, tongue, and lips, for legerdemain.
For I've now the Privilege, Honor, of crafting that domain.
Because of this Marvel, that this Great Craftsman hast ordain.
For It's like an exquisite beverage, a sparkly champagne!
For inebriation, intoxication, drunkeness, now have reign!

Relaxation... Now my heart, mind and soul, slowly recover from that daze.
As I send, to that talented Craftsman, Benedictions and words of praise.
That Maestro, whose mind and heart, affectionately, musically essays.
Crafting our Thoughts and Spirits into a glorious reality, ablaze.
Fabricating magical musical instruments, that to our lips we'll raise.
That allow anyone to make, wondrous, harmonious, musical, lays...

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