DIY Flute Fetish & Totem Designs

Building your own flute is a journey that everyone who has the ability to use their hands should take.  The Native American Flute is one of the most pleasant sounding and unique wind instruments to play and anyone who has the interest and desire to play can learn.  Building your own flute whether it be for personal satisfaction or because you want to build them and sell them to the public is truly a satisfying project.  Not everyone one has the space, time or money to have a workshop that allows you to create the supplies you will need to build your own flute.

The fetish, totem or bird as some call it is an important element for your flute.  There are so many types of fetishes you can make for your flute.  For some the fetish is just a functional part of the flute while others like to have a unique design that has meaning to them.  The choice is yours.  We sell several fetish designs and most all of our flute fetishes tend to be more whimsical in design but they do represent something special to us.  Many of our design ideas come from the wildlife and scenery we find around our home here in Wyoming.  Save yourself some time, money and space by ordering a pre-cut Do It Yourself fetish for your next flute project.

We offer a series of pre-cut fetish blocks in many different wood species and designs ready for you to finish and add your own touch to.  These are the same block types we finish ourselves in our shop for our own flutes.  Select from anyone of the pre-cut fetish blanks listed and complete the process yourself.  Use your favorite dremel tool, files, rasps, sanding blocks or whatever you have in your shop.  The basic shape has been cut for you ready to complete.  Build your own sweat equity in your next flute project without having to have special tools such as a band or scroll saw. Check them out.

All of the Fetish types are available on custom order to be completed here in our shop and shipped direct to you when finished.  Many of the images below a representative of what the finished fetish was designed to look like.  If you want us to complete one for your next flute project simply reach out to us by phone or email.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All of our fetish blocks are designed to work with Native American Flutes that have the focusing channel cut into the body of the flute NOT into the bottom of the fetish or totem. If you have an existing flute that you are considering adding a new fetish to and you are NOT sure if our fetish block will work with your flute call us at (307) 690-0427 or send an email to “timjen333@gmail.com” and we can help you with making the correct decision.

Buffalo Fetish (Chimney Optional)

After hours of reflection I finally came up with one of my favorite fetish blocks for your next Native American Flute project or existing one.  Inspired by the North American Bison, more commonly known as the buffalo.  For those of you who know our flutes you know that most of the fetish blocks we craft tend to be more whimsical than literal. This has been our style and we kind of like it when people see different things in the same fetish.

With our Buffalo fetish I wanted a fetish that when someone sees it, it is clear to them what it represents but at the same time still maintains the whimsical aura that seems to fit many our designs.  I think we have found a balance with this fetish. This fetish stands about 2 1/2″ tall, it is about 3″ in length and 7/8″ wide at the base.  We added a chimney to this fetish that is approximately 3/8″ wide and 7-8mm deep so it should fit most NAF flutes where the Focusing channel is cut into the body of the flute. The picture presented here was crafted from a piece of old growth black walnut.

$12.95 eachBuy Now

Otter Designed Fetish

One of our most popular designed fetish is our otter design.  Inspired by the otters we see on the rivers here in the Jackson Hole, our goal was simple elegance which we think we have achieved with this fetish.  Easy to tie to your flute using any type of leather these birds make a very nice, simple addition to any flute.  The fetish is not available with a chimney.  We like to use Port Orford Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Cherry, Ironwood, Walnut, Bubinga, Maple and other woods when available. Some of the woods like walnut can have many different colors and grain pattern variations so if you want to check to see what we have before you purchase call us or send us an email at “timjen333@gmail.com” and we will let you know what we have in stock.

$7.95 eachBuy Now

Antelope Fetish

One of the animals you will find almost anywhere in our valley and for that matter throughout Wyoming is the North American Prong Horned Antelope. This was the primarily the main inspiration for this fetish although it also has some hints of Elk. Like our Otter Fetish this fetish is easily attached to your flute body using leather lace. We make this fetish in Walnut, Port Orford Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Cherry, Ironwood, Bubinga (extra charge for Bubinga), Maple and other woods when available.

$10.95 eachBuy Now

Grizzly Bear Fetish

Living in the Yellowstone basin is definitely a place where you can come in contact with one of North America’s larger than life giants, the North American Grizzly Bear. To see one of these magnificent animals in nature is something you will never forget. Our Grizzly Bear Fetish was designed with this animal in mind, representing strength and courage as they do in life.

Somewhat whimsical in design this bear fetish is a bit wider than most of our designs. Connect this fetish to your flute using any type of leather lace but we like to use our hand cut bison or elk leather lace when we do.  This bear fetish can be completed by you with a chimney or without depending on your flute.  Like the Bronc fetish this fetish works well sitting between two rails.  In addition this tends to be a fetish best suited for a larger sized flute.

$12.95 eachBuy Now

Horse Fetish

Our latest design inspired by Nakoa Heavyrunner is our horse head fetish. Horses are a great part of the Cowboy State of Wyoming and the horse holds special meaning for the plains Indians. This fetish is a result of collaboration with Nakoa and this fetish will be prominent with many of the Nakoa Heavyrunner Signature flutes we will be crafting in 2013. Like many of our fetish blocks it is a whimsical reflection of the horses that ran the great plains in years past. Available in several wood stocks such as Black Walnut, Red Walnut, Port Orford Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Cherry, Ironwood and other native species when available.

$8.95 eachBuy Now

Mustang Bronc

This fetish is patterned after the wild mustangs and broncs we see all around here in Wyoming.  The Bronc fetish requires a bit more work on your part and tends to give off a masculine feel.  Depending on your needs you can craft the fetish with or without a chimney depending your individual flute.  Easy to attach to your flute using a single strand of leather lace.  This fetish works well with both a nest area that is clean, flat and smooth or add your favorite rails to your next project.

$12.95 eachBuy Now

Teton Spike

This is one of our favorite fetish designs. We call it the Teton Spike because it was actually inspired by an old rusty spike we found at an old homestead cabin located in the valley. We have used just about every type of wood for this fetish but we like it in Bubinga and Walnut. The pictures here are of our Bubinga wood design. This design features a chimney notch in the front and it is 3/8″ wide and should fit most focusing channels.

This fetish is attached to your flute body using 3 leather lace straps. We use our hand cut bison or elk lace to attach all of our fetishes. We offer three sizes and three colors in both elk and bison. See our lace descriptions at the bottom of this page. All of our fetishes are finished with 15-20 hand rubbed coats of high gloss lacquer. If you prefer a satin finish you can hand rub the fetish when you get it with 0000 steel wool. The finish on the spikes take a bit longer to achieve a truly smooth glossy finish thus they are a bit more expensive but way worth the extra cost. Custom orders will need to add an additional $6.00 per fetish

$12.95 eachBuy Now

Raven Fetish

The Raven is an important bird within the Plains Indian lore.  Referred to by many as the creature of metamorphosis which symbolizes change or transformation.  In some Native American circles the Raven is also considered to be a trickster.  Often honored by holy men because of its ability to shapeshift and to also bring healing when called upon.  This fetish was most recently used in a flute commissioned to Tony Duncan and looks best sitting upon a larger flute typically one with a 1″ inch bore.  This fetish can like many others listed on this page be crafted with or without a chimney.

This fetish is almost always cut using Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  Because the birds is designed to be painted in black, Alaskan Yellow Cedar carves well and finishes nicely making for a good surface to paint.  Designed to be tied to your flute body with a single strand of leather.

$12.95 eachBuy Now