Native Flute Making Workshop Among Pow Wow Festivities

Flute-Making-Workshop-flyerMARKSVILLE, La. – The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe has announced a Native Flute Making Workshop to be facilitated by musician/flute maker, Hawk Henries, Saturday, May 10 from 9 a. m. – 5 p. m. at the main pow wow grounds pavilion on the reservation near Marksville. Building flutes for over 25 years, Hawk will be arriving a week prior to pow wow weekend to share his flute making skills.

Hawk has been sharing his music, stories and humor at the Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow since its inception in 1995. As a young person, Hawk was not aware of his native heritage. After meeting his father at age 17, he learned of his Nipmuc lineage which helped give form and voice to his thoughts, feelings and relationship to the world around him. After years of listening to his Native flute music, he decided this would be the instrument to try. His family gifted a flute to him which began his exploration into the world of music and making flutes.

Workshop participants will be working with bamboo since it requires less preparation allowing more time to focus on the functional aspects of flute making and basic wood-working techniques. Only hand tools (i.e., carving knives and fire torch, files and sandpaper) will be used to craft the flutes.

The workshop is structured in an informal, relaxed setting allowing participants to ask questions and talk about their experience as they learn the art of flute making. Hawk will present a background on this type of flute as well as his personal relationship with the flute. He will also have a variety of other flutes on hand to explore and discuss. This exploration will help give participants a sense of size, pitch, etc., that they would prefer for their own flute. They will then select their piece of bamboo and start making a flute.

Each step of the flute making process will be thoroughly described and demonstrated to provide a safe and predictable space. Hawk states, “My effort is to create an interactive environment where people feel empowered. Throughout the entire process, everyone is encouraged to ask questions.  I feel that it’s important for you to leave with a flute that you can play. My hope is that you will have also gained enough knowledge, confidence and inspiration to apply these same techniques to creating other flutes of your own made of other woods and materials.”

The following weekend, May 16-18, Native American dancers and artisans from across the nation will gather for the 19th annual Tunica-Biloxi Pow Wow celebration at the Chief Joseph “Alcide” Pierite Pow Wow Grounds on the reservation near Marksville. Spectators will be treated to performances by flutist, Hawk Henries and the Tunica-Biloxi Legend Keepers. Native American food, art and craft vendors will also be a special part of the weekend’s festivities.

The Flute Making Workshop is recommended for ages 8+ years of age to adult. Children 8-9 years old should be accompanied by an adult. Workshop registration is with a deposit in the form of a check or money order that is due in advance by April 19th. Ten spaces are available to spend the day with Hawk and learn how to make a flute of your own. The workshop is partially underwritten by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. For more information about the workshop, contact John Barbry at or (318) 481-9526 or Hawk at