ONE HEART AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE
One Heart and the Native American Flute by Jan Michael Looking Wolf
Not too long ago on a hillside in the Willamette Valley, a Kalapuya Native stood with cedar and lavender in his hands, with hope in his heart. Looking at the sky, he said, “Creator, I pray to you with humility. Thank you for the sacred circle, mother earth, the water, the sky, the fire, and all my relations. I pray that our people can walk with one heart together. Help us we are pitiful. Help us to live in harmony with the earth, all of creation, and each other.”
Our ancestors asked for One Heart, with the wisdom that our minds could never completely agree. But they knew if we put our hearts together, then great things can be accomplished.
Over the years, the quest for One Heart is still sought after by many. With the truth that we are all equal regardless of color, nationality, gender, ethnicity, language we speak, where we live, or how much money we have.
In Native American traditions, circles are found and in ceremonies people often gather in a circle. It represents creation, mother earth, that all things are related, and that we are all equal. All sides of a circle are the same.
Equity is the foundation for One Heart. By recognizing that all people are equal is agreeing that our hearts have the same significance. True equity does not discount the beauty of diversity, instead it fosters individual cultures and ideas.
Only through equity and diversity can unity be achieved. The goal of One Heart is not to change who we are or our heritage, but to enjoy the richness of one’s personal culture and respect all others the same. This is the opposite of “putting our differences aside”, which is tolerance. Rather, One Heart is the process of understanding and respecting the differences.
- With equity comes healing, both personally and with others
- Through healing there can be unity
- Unity provides an opportunity for hope
- And without hope there can never be peace
Over the past 100 years, the Native American flute has migrated throughout the world. There are players in most countries, found virtually on every continent. The ancient voice of the flute and its ability to provide personal expression contributes to the instrument crossing cultural and social boundaries globally.
This multi-cultural use of the Native American flute has resulted in a broadened evolution of the instrument, both musically and its significance culturally. It is common to find flute circles around the world today. Often these circles include people of different ethnicities who sit together and share their hearts with the flute.
No one can deny that the Native American flute represents a very important part of Native American heritage and life. Now, to literally hundreds of thousands of people, it also represents One Heart for all of mankind.
At any point in time there is a song being played on a Native American flute.
Someplace, somewhere in the world…melodies of hope, peace and UNITY