All posts by Timothy Jennings

Based in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I have worked in both the Domestic and International markets for most of my adult life. During the past four years the United States has seen a complete change in direction when it comes to accessing health care and obtaining mandated health insurance coverage. I have been an agent selling in the U.S. markets for more than 30 years. Today I work exclusively serving the needs of our International health insurance clients. If you are outbound or inbound to the United States I can help guide you through the process of selecting proper International Cover that is right for your family.

Sacajawea’s Grave Site In Fort Washakie, Wyoming…

Click Pictures to Enlarge

sacajawea_02_smWho has not heard about the great adventure story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition?  Early from 1804 – 1806, Sacajawea was an integral part of this expedition that led Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their exploration of the American West looking for a path to the Pacific Ocean.  Sacajawea and her husband Toussaint Charbonneau played an important role in the success of this expedition – an expedition that led them right through this part of the country – the great Yellowstone basin.  But this post is not about their story.  It is the story of the resting place of Sacajawea – a once young Shoshone Indian girl who helped change history forever.  A place that can be found just a few miles Southeast from Jackson Hole.

Although Sacajawea was reported to have died in 1812 she actually lived to be a very old women as told by Shoshone oral traditions.  Long after the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Sacajawea eventually made her way west back to the Shoshone tribes and lived out her life in the area that is now Fort Washakie, Wyoming.  Anyone who has traveled to or from Lander, Wyoming has gone right through Fort Washakie which is one of two main cities on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Sacajawea Cemetary
Sacajawea Cemetery

Fort Washakie was originally a U.S Army fort in what is now the state of Wyoming. The fort was established in 1869 and was originally named Camp Augur after General Christopher C. Augur, commander of the Department of Platte In 1870 the camp was renamed Camp Brown in honor of Captain Frederick H. Brown who was killed in the Fetterman Massacre in 1866.  81 men under his command were killed by Lakota Sioux, Arapaho and Cheyenne warriors during what was known as Red Cloud’s War on the white man.  It was renamed again in 1878 after Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe making the fort the only U.S military outpost named after a Native American. The fort remained a military outpost until 1909 when it was decommissioned and turned over to the Shoshone Indian Agency.

Casualty of War July, 1873
Casualty of War July, 1873

The graves of Chief Washakie and the Lewis and Clark Expedition guide Sacajawea are located on the grounds of the fort. This burial site lies within the present-day Wind River Indian Reservation.  Our family has become very familiar with Fort Washakie as we travel through there several times a year to visit our daughter in Boulder Colorado.  As you pass through the main intersection of Fort Washakie  there is a small road sign that says “Sacajawea’s Grave Site”.  We had passed this sign many times over many years but had never taken the time to stop and visit this very special place.  This last trip it was different – we made the time to visit the resting place of this very important person in American History.

Looking to the Southeast
Looking to the Southeast

Fort Washakie is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Jackson Hole.  A beautiful drive that takes you over Togwotee Pass, through the town of Dubois and across the Wind River Reservation.  Just short of Lander Wyoming is Fort Washakie.  I need to tell you that please do not expect something on the grandeur of the National Park Monuments we are all used to.  Fort Washakie is a humble place that belongs now to the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes.  The poverty you will experience on this majestic reservation is shocking and to be truthful something for all to be ashamed about.

Peyton, Brock, Brynn and I have visited several Powwows on this reservation and I can truthfully say these were some of the best days we have had in Wyoming.  The Shoshone people are very inviting and I suggest that anyone who is in the area think about visiting one of their Powwows if you can.  On this day though we stopped and made our way west of the main intersection, past the Powwow Grounds and along the west side of the Wind River (actual river) for several miles until we came to a very small, unassuming sign that simply says “Sacajawea Cemetery”.  As you enter this very humble place two things stand out.  No trees or shrubs landscape this place and the close proximity of each grave.  Some graves date back to the mid 1800’s and all the way to the present.

I have to tell you that if you are a lover of history you need to visit this place.  To stand at the foot of Sacajawea’s gravesite, her son Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau and her sisters son Bazil is quite an experience.  This place, this humble grave site, this troubled reservation of the Shoshone people gives one a reason to pause and think… think about those who help lay the path before us, a path that had led to this day that my family stood at the foot of what was once a young Shoshone Indian woman who made an everlasting contribution to our American History.

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Sacajawea, Baptiste Charbonneuay & Bazil’s Gravesite

Morning Coffee – A COLD Fall Morning…

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We woke up again this morning to another beautiful fall day here in the Yellowstone basin!  But this morning unlike many of the ones over the past few weeks was really cold.  As we pulled from our driveway this morning on our way to drop Brynn off at school the temp gauge was reading 28 degrees.  By the time we got across the Snake River it was 25 degrees and even colder north of town.

The Snake River looked pretty cool as there was steam coming off of the water and for that to happen the air temp must be colder than the water.  Trust me, the Snake River is not something to wade in this time of year as the water temperatures have dropped quite a bit.  Anyway we dropped Brynn off and headed to the coffee shop and then north of town again.

Now forgive us as our camera was acting up this morning but I think you will enjoy our little adventure.  We were alone this morning and the animals were right next to our truck at every turn.  We took our time and sat and watched the three moose in the pics for quite some time.  They were eating the sage next to the road and for the most part ignored us.  Been then they decided to check us out and we rolled away as they headed to us.  Very cool!

All in all we saw antelope, buffalo, moose, geese and most certainly some spectacular views of the valley.  On this morning we passed through Kelly, Wyoming, past the entrance to the Gros Ventre canyon, over to Antelope flats and Mormon Row and then home again.  Another great way to share a cup of java!

Jackson Hole to Bozeman Montana and Home Again…

Welcome to Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A few years back my son Brock and I took a day trip to Bozeman Montana to meet some very dear friends from the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation located in Montana.  Donovan Sr, is an Assiniboine Elder who trained me how to make traditional Native American Pipes, (but that is for another blog post) and Uncle Loren.  The short version is we met Donovan Sr. and Uncle Loren (we call him “Uncs”) to pick up some sacred pipe stone and a couple of new pipes, just completed by Donovan Sr., to take back to Jackson Hole to be photographed.  We also picked up some pipe stone for ourselves as well as exchange some pipe stems, ideas, and friendship! The day in Bozeman ended in what we call a “Good Trade” day.

mc_04_05_12_05Our trip started early on a Saturday morning, leaving Jackson Hole at around 8:00am.  After getting our coffee and a couple of bagels we hit the road.  When traveling through this part of the country, which is sooo amazing and in a single round trip of about 450 miles one can experience everything the Rockies has to throw at you.  The weather this Fall day was awesome, skies were clear blue and the sun was shining bright, and the temperature was perfect when we left town.   There are a couple of ways you can make your way to Bozeman from Jackson, one through Yellowstone Park’s south entrance or head through Idaho, back into Montana, north through the very northwest corner of the park and finally past Big Sky Montana as you make your way down the Gallatin River into Bozeman.

From Jackson to Bozeman is about 214 miles (one way) over some of the most beautiful roads you can travel.  We chose to head west over Teton Pass and into Idaho, then north along the west side of the Teton Range. You first travel through beautiful rolling hills where much of the russet potatoes are grown in Idaho, not to mention double row barley (which Anheuser Bush buys for their beer) and after you make a turn east in Ashton Idaho you eventually end up in West Yellowstone.

For those who are not familiar with Yellowstone Park, there are 4 entrances to the park.  Jackson Hole to the south, Gardiner at the north, the east entrance which leads to Cody, Wyoming and the west entrance which is West Yellowstone (it’s a town).  Some of you may be familiar with West Yellowstone as some of the premier fly fishing rivers in the world are in the area. The Madison river, the Firehole, Henry’s Fork, the Buffalo, the Gallatin and many more. This is truly Lewis and Clark country.

Welcome to West Yellowstone

From West Yellowstone you head north toward Bozeman and you travel though the very northwest part of Yellowstone Park and you quickly pass over the Madison River eventually picking up and following the Gallatin river all the way into Bozemen. One important note here is that you pass right through a part of the park that suffered from the big fire in 1988.  It is awesome to see how nature has recovered.  You pass Big Sky Montana Ski Resort and other beautiful scenery.  This is one of the most beautiful stretches of road to drive at any time of the year.

Once in Bozemen we had our little pow wow with friends, stopped at a few stores and headed home.  When we left Bozeman the clouds had started to gather.  The weather from Jackson to Bozeman had been perfect!  Clear skies, very dry roads, an easy drive.   But things were about to change.  We headed back up the Gallatin to West Yellowstone.  This part of the trip is about 90 miles.  As we pulled into West Yellowstone, Brock said “Dad why don’t we go home through the park”. I said sure let’s do it.  It is important to note that this is about 4:45pm MST and it is getting darker.  It is important because this is animal hour in the park.

buffalo1_bozemantripWe entered the park and headed towards the Old Faithful Geyser basin. This part of the trip from West Yellowstone to home in Jackson is about 130 miles. This is when things started to change. We first ran head on into a male buffalo that decided my truck was bigger than he was.  So he mosied off the road and into the pasture that sat along the Madison river.  He was the first of hundreds we were to run into this day of travels through the park. And on top of it, it was starting to rain.  I quickly looked at my temperature gauge and saw that the temp has dropped drastically to 38 degrees.  This was important because at 38 degrees and below it will start to snow if the conditions are right.

fireholebasin1As we got closer to Old Faithful we saw elk, and big herds of buffalo and we drove along the banks of the Madison River, simply awesome.  By the time we got to Old Faithful Geyser Basin the temperature was down to 36 and still raining.  And it was now getting pretty dark.  Clouded skis and looking even darker towards Jackson.  Along this stretch of the road you travel along the banks of the Firehole river for part of the way and it gets it name from all the thermal activity that it passes through.  An amazing sight to see in its own right.

truck1This is an beautiful part of the park and we tried to take some pictures before the light got too low.  Almost everywhere you look you see geysers, fumaroles, steam, hot pools, bubbling mud, trees, animals, – awesome!   We decided to pull over to take a short break and just take in this beautiful valley.  But we did not stay long as the temperature continued to drop and I said to Brock we are about to get snowed on.  But the ferocity of the change was not expected.

The Snow Starts to Fall
The Snow Starts to Fall

We headed south towards home and as we got down the road about 5 miles the temp dropped to around 32 and I said to Brock here it comes.  And come it did!  It did not flurry a bit or start real light – it just started snowing.  Now in this part of the country you will cross the Continental Divide many times.  And we were heading for one of those crossings at an elevation of 8391 feet above sea level.  One other thing to note here – the park was void of people as it was close to closing so we were basically on our own.

The snowflakes started to increase in size and the volume at which they fell was speeding up.  The road quickly disappeared and became totally white.  The snow was accumulating at a rate that I estimated at over an 1-2 inches per hour maybe even more at times.  We put the truck into four-wheel drive as we were not going anywhere without it.  Our speed dropped to about 25 miles per hour and we are crawling our way through Yellowstone park in the middle of a snow storm all alone.  When we left Jackson it was sunny and clear.  In Bozeman it was starting to cloud up but still relatively warm.  West Yellowstone it started to rain and now we were surrounded in white.

Continental Divide 8391 Feet
Continental Divide 8391 Feet

Our final stop before it got real dark and we made the final trek home was the pass where we cross over the Continental Divide.  We stopped and took this last picture here.  We got out of our truck and it was completely quite.  Snow was falling straight down and you could hear it hit the trees, your clothing, the truck.  It was coming down so thick that it would fall right into your mouth.  If you have never experienced the complete quite of the forest and to see snow falling straight down and building up in front of your eyes you have missed one of heaven’s real treats!!

westyellowstonesignThe light faded fast and Brock and I decided that if we did not get moving we may be spending the night here as the snow was already over a foot deep on the road.  We slowly made our way to the south entrance of the park and as the roads started to clear we made our way home to Jackson.  You actually leave Yellowstone Park and then make your way through parts of Teton National Park before you get into the Jackson area.

This was an amazing day for Brock and I – we spent it together as father and son, we shared lunch with friends and they we got to see God’s hand on our Mother Earth.  We were kissed by her this day and left with a memory I shall never forget!  WE WERE TRULY BLESSED THIS DAY!

New Commission for Black Willow Flute…

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I have been commissioned to build a new flute from the above pre-glued Black Willow flute blank.  Although this blank is currently sitting at a C# @ 440Hz we will be changing this and tuning this flute to the requested 444Hz range.  Not sure of the key but I should know pretty quick.

I am building this flute for one of my favorite customers, Mary.  She always likes to challenge me with something new and different.  This will be the first flute I tune at the “new” 444Hz as she tells me.   I am excited to see how this flute turns out.  More to follow…

New Pipe Commission Starts to Take Shape…

I have started a new project which again is a very high honor for me to have been chosen as their pipemaker.  I have received a new commission to build 7 pipes for 7 women who have been studying under Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle and Sandra Moon Dancer  (Canadian First Nations People) for 4 years to as long as 9 years getting ready to become the pipe carriers for their respective clans.

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“We are honoured to receive pipes from a master pipemaker, whose hands are guided by Spirit. It is with deep gratitude that we send this message.

Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle”

These woman have been studying the Mother Earth teachings that have been handed down for hundreds if not thousands of years by their ancestors.   These seven woman will be honored in ceremony in 2017 with these pipes and take a very important role with their people.

I cannot emphasize enough how humbled and honoured I am to have been selected to complete this project.  I am not Native but yet I have been selected for this sacred task and once again I will honor my commitment to the First Nations People of Canada to bring to them 7 pipes that will in turn bring honor to these woman and help them on their very important new journey that they will undertake early next year!

Catlinite Native American Styled Personal Pipe…

3featherspipe_4_leftviewWhen I receive a commission for a custom pipe I always save just about every piece of pipestone from each pipe as I can always find uses for the remnants.  This pipe was crafted from just that – remnants of stone from a previous commission.  I personally like small pipes as they are easier to handle and when you want to have a smoke by the fire these are a great choice.

3featherspipe_4_rightviewThis pipe is actually a midsize personal pipe according to my way of thinking.  The pipestone in this pipe shares a two-tone coloring with a real deep traditional pipestone red on the left side of the pipe and a lighter pinkish red on the right side of the pipe.  There is a teepee effigy towards the back of the pipe and the left front side has an eagle’s head totem while the right side is a set of feathers.

dsc0650_wdc_eagle_tetons_01_72dpi_672pxwideThe detail in this pipe is not as high as in commission pipes (seen eft) such as the eagle pipe I recently finished.  But this is a pretty cool little pipe.  The overall length of this pipe with stem is 21″ inches long and the stone itself is 4 3/4″ long.  The tobacco bowl is 1/2″ in diameter and the depth of the bowl 1 5/8″ deep.  If you are looking for a personal pipe that you can smoke with friends this would be a good choice.

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This pipe is prices at $165.00 and it ships with a protective bag.  Shipping on this pipe should be less than $10.00 depending on your zip code.  If you are interested in this pipe or you have questions please reach out to me at “timjen333@gmail.com“.

 

The Eagle (Anukasa) and the Range…”Nakhota”…

The “Nakota” Souix (pronounced nah-KO-tah ) is the tribe’s name for themselves and may mean“friends” or “allies.” It comes from the Yankton word, Nakhota, sometimes translated as “alliance of friends.”   another meaning for the name is “those who consider themselves kindred.”

Earlier this year I was contacted by a very special man, Jesse-Blue Forrest Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle who reached out to me to commission an eagle pipe that would be used in ceremony over several years as this pipe was to take a long journey across Canada on what is now known as the Tree of Unity Peace Walk.

Once I had accepted this commission which was and is a great honor, I knew I had an important task set before me.  As I pondered the path I would take to craft the sacred pipe that was to be an Eagle pipe I for some reason decided to start two pipes at the same time, one of which is the pipe you see before you here and the other at the top of this post.  It was made very clear to me the importance of the commission I was about to undertake and the very next day I started on the journey with great passion – a journey that would end with two pipes.

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Tree of Peace Unity Walk Sacred Eagle Ceremonial Pipe Completed July 2016

The most important task was to complete the Tree of Unity Peace Walk pipe then I could focus on the second pipe to follow which I am calling “Anukasa and the Range – Nakhota, Alliance of Friends”.  This eagle pipe will be seen by thousands of people at the upcoming Western Design Conference to be held this weekend here in Jackson Hole Wyoming.  I am hoping to share a small glimpse into the world of the Sacred Pipe by way of display.

As many of you know I live in Jackson Hole Wyoming, home of the Teton Mountain Range, known worldwide.  This powerful mountain range rises above the Teton Valley and it is the Southern Gateway into the Yellowstone Basin.  Les Trois Tetons it is believed was the name given to the mountain range by the Iroquois or French Canadian trappers in the very early 1800’s.  Since then these majestic peaks have been called by many names.

It is a very rare event that I trek north of Jackson Hole when I do not see one or more Bald Eagles soaring around the valley and into the base of these mountains.  When you see the majesty of these magnificent birds and how they interact with Mother Earth and her ranges it is clear there is an Alliance of Friends or another way of saying it is Nakota or Nakhota which are names used to describe today’s Assiniboine First Nations People.

dsc0644_wdc_eagle_tetons_01_100dpiSo why use this translation and not something else?  Well truth be told all of the Sacred Pipestone I receive comes from a single family who are Assiniboine descendants and they live on the Assiniboine Reservations located in Northeastern Montana.  Donovan Archambault is my Assiniboine Elder Mentor, a Master Pipe Maker in his own right.  Each summer Donovan and younger parts of his family travel back to their ancestral  region in Minnesota to hand quarry the sacred stone from Mother Earth.  It is then hauled back from Minnesota to Montana where I gather stone that was hand quarried and allotted for me.

So it is in this spirit that I use the Name of the Nakota people and their indigenous language translation for the name  “Eagle”.  When you see these powerful and very sacred birds interact with the nature that surrounds us here in the Yellowstone Basin you can certainly grasp the Alliance that must take place between their very nature and Mother Earth in order for them to survive.

 

“Spirit of the Pipe”…

Spirit of the Pipe Commission Ships Out

spiritofpipe_16_bEvery Once and a while a project comes along that really finds a place in your soul.  This is one of those times.   On Monday I will be shipping this project to its new owner in Canada.  A First Nations man will carry this flute with him on an upcoming journey that will take him across Canada over a two-year period.

The idea for this flute came about after recently delivering a Native Styled pipe to the Western Ojibwe in Canada for which I was commissioned to craft.  In a way this flute is a continuation of this pipe.  The pipe which will be carried across Canada for the upcoming Tree of Peace Unity Walk will now have this flute as it’s companion.  I have named this flute the “Spirit of the Pipe”.

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Testimony

I shared a vision with my Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers.  At the Council Fire they contemplated my vision, and in turn, they received a vision of a Sacred Eagle Pipe that was to be gifted to me.  Through ceremony and reflection, Spirit guided us to Timothy.  The Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers saw in his previous work, that it was evident that Timothy has a connection with the spirit of the materials he uses.  This was very important to us as this Sacred Eagle Pipe will lead a Tree of Peace Unity Walk and the planting of 44 Peace Trees across Canada.  This Unity Walk is the vision I received that will bring together First Nations Peoples and all Canadians for world peace and the healing of Mother Earth. When I received the pipe in a ceremony, I felt the energy of Timothy’s connection with the spirit in the wood and stone, in the making of this sacred pipe. Timothy is a master craftsman and artist who’s hands are blessed by the Great Spirit. In gratitude from myself and the Elders, Clan Mothers, and Grandfathers of the Cherokee, Iroquois, Ojibwe, and Cree of the Council Fire of this vision, we honor Timothy and his creation of the sacred pipe.

Walk Sacred, Talk Sacred,
Jesse-Blue Forrest – Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle

I wanted to incorporate the spirit from the sacred pipe by attaching a mouth piece to the flute that was crafted from the very same stone the pipe was made from.  In addition my plans were to craft a cabochon from the same stone to inlay into this flute.  In my mind’s eye this addition of the stone to the flute would help carry the spirit of this pipe over to the flute.  I had hopes that this flute would share in the very same journey as the pipe.

As one draws in the smoke from the pipe in ceremony this same breath would give life through their playing of the flute.  If this were to happen this would accomplish my vision for this piece.

This six hole  flute features a 1″ inch bore crafted from Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  It is tuned to the Key of D#.  It features the Four Winds tuning holes and by most standard this is a large flute.  Although I think it is the perfect size as its new owner like me is a large man and should have no trouble playing it.

The theme for the pipe was that of the Eagle and so too we carried the same theme through to the flute by adding a fetish that represents a whimsical vision of the Eagle in flight.  The fetish sits between two rails crafted from a special wood called Sapodilla.  This reclaimed wood has much the same color tones as the pipestone.

One of the interesting twists in all of this is that the Tree of Peace Unity Walk will start it’s journey on a sacred mountain on Vancouver
Island.  The very same place the Alaskan Yellow Cedar used in this spiritofpipe_18_b72flute was harvested from several years ago.

It is always an honor when I have the opportunity to be commissioned for a project.  I am always humbled that there are those who find my style of art pleasing.  But it is especially humbling when I am given the opportunity to create something as special as these two projects for the First Nations People of Canada and know that they will be used in Ceremony and not used as a cliché…

Listen to Sound Sample from this flute

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Commissioned Pipe Goes to Arizona…

I always enjoy the opportunity to create something unique for a client.  Kirk’s love for the pipe goes back to his childhood when his dad would work in their garage and smoke a pipe while he pondered his next move on whatever project he was tackling.  Kirk wanted a simple yet functional Native Styled Pipe for his collection and personal use.

Although this was not a fancy pipe it is a perfect size for personal use.  This personal pipe was crafted for Kirk who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The pipestone I used for this personal pipe was actually the remnants from another eagle pipe I made a couple of years ago.  I throw nothing out from the sacred pipestone and try to use as much of it as I can.

“I am writing to let you know how pleased I am with the Native American pipe you crafted. I provided no input of my expectations and am thrilled with the interpretation, design and workmanship of the pipe you created.

The wood working is perfect and pipe stone carving of the tee pee and feathers is spiritual and, to me, soulful. It is truly a work of art, but functions well as a working pipe. It draws well, has no problem staying lit and is a pleasure to smoke. When not being used, it is proudly displayed in a cabinet in my den, where it receives a lot of attention and compliments.

Thank you again.”

Kirk Jenkins
Exec. Vice President /Principal
Daum Commercial Real Estate Services

3featherspipe_2The pipe had carved into the long part of the stone 2 feathers, one on each side.  An eagles head on one side and a representation of a tepee on the other.  The pipestem was crafted from Old Growth Black Walnut that I gathered from the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountain outside of Boulder Colorado.

3featherspipe_1The stem was decorated with hand cut bison hide lace, crow glass beads and an owl feather (replica) wrapped in traditional trade cloth and sinu.  Over all this was a very cool little pipe and as I understand it the Kirk smokes it (tobacco only) twice each year on two special days that have meaning for the family.

I was honored that Kirk had come to me for this project.  Kirk is a lifetime friend of mine and that made this commission even more special.  He is one of the finest people I have ever known and I look forward to a time when we can smoke it together.

Native American Pipe

 

Commission Complete…

Eagle Themed 6 Hole, 4 Winds, Tuned to D @440Hz

It is always an honor when someone reaches out to me for a special project they have in mind.  This flute was no exception.  This piece was commissioned by a gentleman in Scottsdale Arizona who had a vision for a flute he wanted.  Originally this project was to have a Bison theme to it but soon after we started construction there was a change request which we agreed to as it seem to make perfect sense.

jkrohn_07_72DPI_DSC0553This 6 hole flute is hand crafted from Old Growth Black Walnut and features Old Growth Alaskan Yellow Cedar Fetish rails.  The Eagle fetish is crafted from both Black Walnut and the bird itself is from Maple.  As with every flute I build specifically for someone I look for the story behind the project.  In this case this buyers story fit the end product we will finally deliver this week.

The genesis for this flute started back in the mid 1850’s when pioneers heading west brought with them Walnut trees to be planted around their farm houses and barns.

“Wow! That is a masterpiece, a master who is in touch with the spirit of the material. One who is truly connected to the elements of Mother Earth. It has been an honor to know you and your work. The Great Spirit, the Creator has gifted you. ”

Jesse-Blue Forrest
Sequoyah-Blue Deer Eagle
(Walking Thunder)

The walnut this flute came from was harvested from trees planted just west of Boulder Colorado and as best we can tell the tree was planted around 1850 or so.

The Alaskan Yellow Cedar used for the rails comes from Old Growth trees cut from Vancouver Island that are at least hundreds of years old and the Maple also came from the Boulder Colorado area.  So this  lumber has traveled another 500 miles north to my shop here along the Snake River here in Jackson Wyoming.  Then one last journey of 900 miles to its new home in Scottsdale Arizona.

jkrohn_01_DSC0442-fetishonly_02The Eagle Theme was something I had not really done previously and when Jim shared with me other eagle fetish designs he had seen and liked I knew I would need to find a fetish that fits within my whimsical fetish designs and its coming marriage to this flute.  I did not want this to be in any way a representation of someone elses work.

jkrohn_01_DSC0442-fetishonly_01Because I live along the Snake River there are many Bald Eagle nests around my home and while on my afternoon walks I would watch the males fishing from above.  This fetish is my representation of watching these magnificent birds dive for fish along the river and this is where the idea for this particular bird came from.

Idaho_Jasper_Krohn_01_DSC0488I wanted to inlay a stone into this flute so I selected a piece of polished Idaho Picture Jasper and set it in a silver bezel which I inlaid into the body of the flute.  I really liked the colors in this stone as it really seems to match the colors found in both the flute, the leather and the stands.  Although this is a time-consuming value add I really like how it came out and this stone seemed to be right at home once it was set.  All of
the leather accents are from hand selected Bison hides matching the
colors in the stone perfectly.

jkrohn_09_bead_DSC0528One really cool feature is the way the feathers (replicas) are hung from the flute body.  In stead of using trade cloth and sinew to wrap the upper portion of the leather straps I hand crafted a stone bead crafted from a piece of Catlinite (Sacred Pipestone) and it acts kind of like a bolo tie which makes it easy to adjust and even remove the feathers if desired.  Another time-consuming value add but well worth the effort as it really makes or a clean presentation.

The stands came right out of the forest behind my home here in Wyoming.  I guess you could say they are truly repurposed tree branches.  Anyway I wanted to make something simple, yet functional and look good too.  Finally I added a hand crafted Bison leather case for the flute to be carried or stored in.  Hand crafted by Leah Burgess from Riversong buckskinbisonbag2Leather Studios out of Laramie Wyoming.  This is a beautiful work of art all in its own right.

Once the flute was complete and ready to be delivered I added the final accents of leather braid and beads.  The beads that hang from the braid are a combination of Sterling Silver and Glass Crow beads.  We added a 4th hole leather cover that can be used as is or removed.  All in all a very nice project that I am very proud of !  Oh… and it plays nice and sounds good.  Listen to the clip below…

Future Commissions are available for those interested in a project of their own so reach out to me with questions at “timjen333@gmail.com” … I would love to make one for you.

Listen to Sound Sample from this flute

Eagle Themed NAF Flute crafted by Timothy Jennings Jackson Hole Wyoming