• Reed Flute

    European Expressions

  • $10.00

  • Description

    The harvesting and carving of flutes from reeds is an age-old tradition in Belarus, a nation to the west of Russia.
    Every autumn, just before the snows begin to fall, men and women from the villages of southern Belarus pole their flat-bottomed boats deep into the marshes. Their objective is a special variety of reed which can be transformed into reed flutes.
    Since the reeds can only be harvested once a year, harvest time is one of frenetic activity, and villagers often work well into the night.
    Once harvested, the reeds are carefully stored in barns which allow for air circulation, which is crucial to the proper drying of the reeds. Months later, the reeds have dried and are ready to be shaped into flutes--a process which is extremely difficult.  Failure rates of 80% and more are common.  One mistake means a rejected flute.
    The flutes are then touched briefly with a red hot piece of metal, which burns the holes into the reed flute.
    The reed flutes which pass muster are wonderful, folklorish musical instruments, created by artisans living in the area. Each is unique. It is impossible that two might be alike.
    Sizes and number of notes vary (approximately 5.5 to 6" long). Three flutes are packaged in a clear tube which protects the flute.
    Note: The "reed" which vibrates is at the upper part of the flute.  Be sure not to touch it with your lips, which prevents it from vibrating and making its wonderful tone.
    PLEASE NOTE:  Shipping and packaging costs go down when you order more than one item.  In this case, a refund check will be sent to you to reflect those savings.  The check will accompany your shipment and will be attached to your invoice.

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