Native American music is prevailingly vocal.  Almost all instruments are percussive, and their function is to provide rhythmic accompaniment to singing. Solo drumming is actually rare.

Drums and rattles

Double-headed drums

Small hand drums with single skin

Water drum - kettle-drum filled with water for tuning

Pieces of rawhide suspended from stakes

Container rattles made of gourd, sewn hide, or turtle shell

Strings of deer hooves


Native America flute - vertical flute made of cedar, walnut, birch, and other woods, played solo for courting. Flutes play songs, but in the southwestern United States there is a separate flute repertory not markedly different from the songs.

Apache fiddle - Bowed instrument with one string, probably made in imitation of the Western violin, used by Navajo and Apache peoples