Friday, October 16, 2009

"Amazing Grace" by R. Carlos Nakai

The music featured on web site "J'ellen in the Black Hills" is world famous flute player R.Carlos Hakai. He is of Navajo-Ute heritage, Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure. His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to master it. As an artist, he is an adventurer and risk taker, always giving his musical imagination free rein. Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs.

Native Americans can be innovative and talented artists. I recently heard an amazingly beautiful hand flute of Jessie Lucas (WA Snoqualmie Indian Tribe). In the picture, Jessie is teaching my grandson's teacher Mrs. Williams how to do a hand flute. It is very difficult to do but with practice and ability the sound is similar to Nakai's sound. The Snoqualmie Tribe regards Snoqualmie Falls as its birthplace. The spirits of various resources of the Snoqualmie River valley and the spirits of the prairie upstream meet at the falls, forming a sacred site for seeking spirit power. The Snoqualmie Indians are few in numbers but are close knit and expressive people that have great pride in their heritage and beliefs.

I hope to do a future article that shares insight into Lakota Indian culture and beliefs. The Lakota, Indians are members of the family of the Great Sioux Nation of North America. They have a very rich spirituality and a deep respect for all life, visible and invisible. The word Lakota means "considered friends", or "alliance of friends". They understand and celebrate diversity.

~~~ On a sad note, J'ellen's web site today is dedicated to a young moose that was killed by poachers in the Black Hills. The moose was found shortly before he died. There is a $4,415 reward to find the poacher. This Black Hills Moose was amazing creature, please listen to

YouTube comment: I love this song, my name is Phenice Nakai and this was played by my uncle R. Carlos Nakai at my grandfathers funeral (Raymond Nakai). So thank you for doing this. The song brought back some great memories of my grandpa. Thank you and god bless you."


Thank you for the article about Nakai and another plug for my blog. :O) I find his flute music so relaxing and spiritually uplifting. Alice Gomez's too. And thank you for observing the loss of our poor little moose visitor.

As you know, hubby and I recently ate breakfast at
Colonial House; his 2nd visit, my first...they have superior breakfasts, to be sure!

Jann October 20, 2009


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