Eagle-bone whistle

religious musical instrument used in certain ceremonies in the Southwest and Plains Native American cultures, made from bones of the American bald eagle or the American golden eagle

The eagle-bone whistle is a highly sacred religious object, used by some members of Native American spiritual societies in particular sacred ceremonies.


  • The sacral power of the eagle is also represented by the eagle-bone whistle.
    • Maroukis, Thomas C. (2012). The Peyote Road: Religious Freedom and the Native American Church, p.84. University of Oklahoma. ISBN 9780806185965.
  • The eagle-bone whistle is a traditional vehicle for prayer in [some] Sun Dance.
  • The whistle signifies that the eagle knows no evil on this earth, and the Indian ... passes his prayer through that while he is blowing to the Almighty; and there isn't supposed to be any evil in that while he is blowing his whistle.
    • Old Coyote, Crow Indian, quoted in Voget (1984), p.213.
  • There is no time or need here to wallow in distinctions between a feather-and-bone raptor and a bone whistle avian mysticism; one would no doubt end in dichotomous Western readings thereof, an ideological spectrum ranging from sheer superstition to pure embodiment of the One.
    • Gannon, Thomas C. (2009), Lakota critic. Skylark Meets Meadowlark: Reimagining the Bird in British Romantic and Contemporary Native American Literature, p.227. University of Nebraska. ISBN 9780803226166. "For their use in the Sun Dance, see Standing Bear, My People 114; Fire and Erdoes 198, 206, 210. ... Momaday mentions the use of the eagle bone whistle in a Kiowa ceremony (Way 39)", p.363, n.40.

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