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This 19th century wood aerophone, edge, end-blown tube, block, or duct flute is one of the traditional musical instruments of eastern Europe, used by peasants and shepherds in the Balkans for centuries. Wood carving is a Yugoslavian folk art that dates back to the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire of the Middle Ages. Solely permitted to express their feelings orally, Yugoslavians recited or sang them to the accompaniment of handmade local instruments. Folk stories were transmitted from father to son and were given expression in ballads and music, elaborate embroidery, intricate wood carving, and a rich dance tradition.

The traditional end-blown block flute has a rectangular shape and beveled edges, with a single round chamber bore and 6 finger holes of uniform diameter. It is hand cut, stained brown, and hand carved with geometric patterns. The bottom of the flute bears a circular press or stamp that reads "hand made in Yugoslavia." The flute is 12.6 inches long, 1.8 inches wide and 0.8 inch deep. It is in excellent vintage condition. There are small scratches on the surface of the wood, mostly on the bottom. The wood is shiny and has darkened with age.

Yugoslavian flutes are held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Library of Congress archives, as well as those of universities, libraries, and museums across the country. Similar flutes include the svirala, dvojnice, svirka, duduk, frula, zvegljica, jedinka and jednojka. This flute shares many design characteristics with a Bosnian dvojnice -- the geometric motifs are strikingly similar and the carvings around the ends correspond almost exactly. It is also similar to, but has distinct design differences from, the Bosnian svirala and the Bulgarian svirka.

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Kerri Tuttle

Traditional Yugoslavian Folk Art - Hand Carved Duct Flute or Shepard's Flute


  • Vintage item from the 1800s
  • Materials: wood, plumwood, maple, 6 holes, hand cut, hand carved, geometric patterns
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 41 reviews
  • Favorited by: 4 people