When I think about Hawk Littejohn, I think about the only time that I was able to meet him in 1999 (early 2000?), about a year before he passed. Lee Johnson and Mac Lopez had invited Geri and Hawk to the west coast for a small tour. Bob Bellus and the NCFC organized a gathering in Northern California for them. This event was held on a rainy day in Calistoga, but we had over a 100 people show up to met Hawk and several other flutemakers. The performance that evening was memorable and Hawk told us a story about going to water with grandparents. Hawk told the story in Cherokee and Geri translated in English. I learned later that Hawk knew that he was already dying of cancer and this trip would be his last to the west coast.
If you have a favorite Hawk Littlejohn memory I would encourage you to add a comment to this story. I'd like to hear others stories about how Hawk touched your live's.If you are not familiar with Hawk Littlejohn and his influence on the design of the modern Native American Flute, then it is worth a moment to recount his life's work. Hawk Littlejohn was a 5th generation Cherokee flutemaker. He can be counted as one of the handful of folks responsible for the renaissance of the Native American flute. He and others are memorialized in the video "Songkeepers". If you haven't seen this video, it is a must see for all flute players, especially if you don't have a sense of the path of the flute and its historical context over the last 200 or so years. You can find this video for sale at several online vendors. Hawk and Geri Littlejohn were the duo behind Woodsong flutes.
Here are a few links which I found online:
- Lee Johnson was one of Hawks closest friends: http://kamamaspirit.com/gallery.html
- Mac Lopez was one of Hawks closest friends and helped establish Hawk as a flute maker here on the west coast: http://www.whirlwindstudios.com/
- Geri Littlejohn continues to make flutes today with a new business called Green Grass Flutes