Native American flutes are among the most favored Indian musical instruments of all time. I have always appreciated Native flute music for its beautiful sound quality and ability to bring a peaceful calm to the environment where it is played. Hearing Native flutes always bring back memories of my mother's kitchen where she often played flute music to invite a tranquil peace into her home. The mesmerizing flute music cures the soul and produces a soothing affect on the lives of all who come in contact with it. If you study the history of Indian musical instruments, you will realize that like the drum, the flute plays a big role in the daily lives, customs and traditions of many American Indian people. Native American flute music takes you on a spiritual journey where descendants look to their ancestors to lead them, and use their instruments to unite them with the Great Spirit. Flutes in one form or another have been around for centuries and have been part of many Tribes and cultures around the world. The study of flute instruments in the past shows us that they did exist in ancient Tribes. The origin and design of the Native American flute is a little more complicated to trace due to the fact that no North American Tribe had a written language to keep record. It wasn't until explorers and travelers documented their discoveries, that record of the Native American flute is reported. You can't appreciate the true value of Native flute music until you see that society came close to destroying this amazing art with rigorous assimilation rules. The 1900's brought with it harsh rules for Native Americans that almost succeeded to suffocate their culture and people. Together with many other Native Indian customs, these rules strangled the advancement of Native flute music. It wasn't until the middle of the century that assimilation laws started to alleviate and Native customs were able to be practiced within the Tribe and in public once again. Over time, the appreciation of the Native American flute heightened to the point that flute makers began producing these instruments in large quantities to sell, and not just for personal playing purposes. The materials used to make the flutes also shifted from rustic and primitive to more refined, with the use of modern power tools and the greater accessibility to various types of woods, plastics and metals. Now days, there are various choices available when purchasing a Native style flute, and it is just a matter of personal opinion. There are some tips you should keep in mind though when shopping around. There are many different types of flutes, but all have one of two different sound styles. The sound style of the flute is based on whether it is a Plains style or a Woodlands style. A Plains style flute creates a buzzing type sound while a Woodlands style creates a bell sound. No matter which sound style of flute you buy, it is essential to check the quality of that specific instrument, including the mouthpiece, size, shape and number of holes, in order to buy one that you like. Native American flutes are also fashioned of various types of wood ranging from exquisite, rather expensive woods, to simple pieces of pine, cane or bamboo. Because of the overall enjoyment of flute music, you can easily buy Native American flutes online, in some music stores, and in specialty shops that sell Indian musical instruments and southwest home decorating accessories. If you are interested in finding an easy instrument for playing or decorative purposes, or are searching for authentic Indian musical instruments to use in Native ceremonies and events, consider keeping the beautiful customs and music of Indigenous people alive with the soothing tones of Native American flutes.