Northern Plains Polychrome Courting Flute, From an Estate in Sinking Springs, Ohio

carved with the head of a crane; remnants of blue and red pigments, overall length 27.5 in.
fourth quarter 19th century

This flute is listed on "Chief" R. Deerfoot's inventory as number 43, "A Love Flute, not for making love, but in ceremonials of the Pueblo and Nez-Perez Indians for rain". 

According to Deerfoot's obituary (1871-1959), he was a "noted evangelist" who claims Cherokee descent, was a Major during World War I, and was "said to have been the first Indian to pilot an airplane for the government." In addition to his military service, he "devoted his life to evangelical work all over the world." Despite his supposed military and evangelical notoriety, recorded in an article in The Tennessean, dated Feb. 19, 1948, Deerfoot was "placed under a suspended six year sentence for practicing medicine without a license in Rossville, Georgia" and "promised to vanish from the Georgia scene."  He is buried in the Arlington Memorial Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Provenance:From an Estate in Sinking Springs, Ohio; Collected by "Chief" R. Deerfoot (1871-1959)

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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