How to Make Eagle Bone Whistles

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American Indians have used the eagle bone whistle for centuries as a musical instrument in religious ceremonies. The bones of a bald eagle were traditionally used. A healthy-sized turkey bone can have the same effect.

1 Get a bone

Get a bone from a raw turkey drumstick measuring six or seven inches. Boil the bone until the meat falls away. Take a knife and scrape the bone, removing any leftover flesh that didn't fall off in the water.

2 Saw off each bumpy end or joint

Saw off each bumpy end or joint, to create as much of a straight tube as possible. Hollow out the middle of the bone using an ice pick or awl. Soaking the bone in bleach gives it a whiter, more authentic look.

3 Starting one inch from the blowing end

Starting one inch from the blowing end, cut a half-inch square hole. On the other end of the bone, cut the bottom half of the bone off on a slant, making the end sharp.

4 Cut a piece

Cut a piece of cork slanting upward like a little ramp. Insert it into the blowing hole, and make sure it fits snugly. The thick end of the cork should stop where the air hole on the top of the bone begins.

5 Blow into the whistle

Blow into the whistle to test it. If the sound is too weak, make the half inch square hole larger, a little bit at a time until you get the sound you want.

6 To make note holes

Drill holes on the top side of the bone to make note holes. Use a penny whistle as a reference to the spacing of the holes. Trial and error are really the only way to get the right spacing.

Thomas McNish has been writing since 2005, contributing to and other online publications. He is working toward his Associate of Science in computer information technology from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.