Mary Youngblood, Rona Yellow Robe, Scott August and Joe Young play this weekend's festival Flute Quest at Saltwater State Park in Des Moines.
By Marian Liu
As one of the headliners for this weekend's festival Flute Quest at Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, she has reinterpreted the Native American instrument. Traditionally, it was played by men to woo women.
"It was always played by men, for the purpose of conquest," said Youngblood, who has played the instrument for almost two decades. "I got slack from the tribes for playing. It's a taboo for women. It's not accepted."
Her reaction to tradition?
"The Creator gave me this gift, and I will use it to honor the Creator and my people, and that's traditional," said Youngblood, a Seattle native. "Besides, I wear pants and I vote."
Below: "Mary Youngblood, a Grammy Award-winning artist, is scheduled to perform and teach at this weekend's Pacific Northwest Flute Quest."