These flutes were made by Ken Custalow, a skilled wood craftsman and member of the Mattaponi tribe. Various types of wood were used, including red cedar, black walnut, and apple. Ken noted that he could tune a flute to the desired pitch but preferred to let the instrument "find its own voice."
Kenneth Custalow demonstrates how to play a flute he made, at this home on the Mattaponi Reservation, in 2006.
About the Project
The Virginia Indian Archive is a collection of images, documents, and audiovisual resources representing the history and cultural experiences of Virginia Indians since colonial times. Items in the collections were gathered from a wide range of sources, both historical and contemporary. A resource tool available to teachers, students, researchers, and the public, the archive is accessible to anyone interested in Native peoples in the region we now call Virginia. ... Read More