JUNE 12, 1941


When Hawk was 6 years old, his grandfather began teaching him to carve the flutes played by the Cherokee of western North Carolina.  However, it was not until it became difficult for him to make a living as a tobacco farmer that he began making flutes to sell to supplement his income.  In time, he became recognized as one of America’s greatest contemporary Native American flute makers.  Additionally, his expertise in Native American medicine afforded him a position as adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s medical school, and as a cultural consultant for the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Museum of History.  He also wrote essays on Cherokee life, traditions, spirituality, and medicine in a column called Good Medicine for the Keetoowah Journal.   His flutes are collected and played by flutists all over the world.  Hawk died December 14, 2000, in Old Fort, North Carolina.

Sources:  Meredith Barkley, “Flutes: Making Money ‘n Music,” News & Record, 10/19/1993.  Retrieved 12/7/2020, FLUTES: MAKING MONEY 'N' MUSIC | | greensboro.com
 “Cherokee Flute Maker Finds Profit in Tradition,” News & Record, 3/30/1991.  Retrieved 12/7/2020, CHEROKEE FLUTE MAKER FINDS PROFIT IN TRADITION | | greensboro.com
Photo:  William Waterway, 11/7/2012.  Profile of "Bird of Prey Flute,” a "Woodlands Style" Native American flute hand-carved in 1996 by Hawk Littlejohn.  From the William Waterway Private Collection. Permissive Use.

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