Native Flute's Haunting Sound Keeps Cherokee Tradition Alive
As a child, Randy McGinnis learned to play the Native American flute, but he didn't begin to appreciate its fragility as an important symbol of his Cherokee heritage until he was an adult. "About twenty years ago," he says, "I realized it was disappearing. There was nobody playing the Native American flute. It was fading away."
So he picked up the flute again and began to play. Now, the Maryville resident records, performs and teaches the flute to younger generations of Cherokee in an effort to keep the instrument, its traditions and its evocative, haunting tones alive. In this interview, McGinnis sits down with WUOT's Matt Shafer Powell to discuss the flute, its meaning to the Cherokee people and the reason he plays it now...
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE