Fujaras and Koncovkas
Native Slovak Courting Flutes
In The Now
As our new Fujara recording takes shape we must continue to honor our ancestors but also realize we are living in the” Now”. We are so proud of what Native Slovak has brought to our lives and others, so here are some thoughts on what it means to be a player of these beautiful instruments.
There are Native American Nations here in N. American that describes their flutes as courting flutes. Once my uncle shared what he knew about Fujara’s it was clear to me that some Slovak men did the same thing. It is a small sliver of bigger Fujara traditions but it became the base for how we approach our songs.
Our tradition of playing the Fujara comes from the Martinka family and courting the woman we love. We all love music in some way and we use many ways to express our love for each other the Fujara is one of them. The tradition we have is not better or worse than other traditions it’s what our family, our small group does. We see the Fujara very simple, as a tool which helps us share our feeling of love and life.
First Nation people have found away to hold on to their flute traditions as well as creating new ones and to keep the creating of the instrument alive. I have many First Nation friends here in North American to thank for sharing with me what it is like for them to play their beautiful flutes. I think this is why I am writing this piece, to share what it’s like to play the Fujara.
As with some traditions of the North American flutes today’s Fujara players are as free to play whatever their mind, body and spirit will have them play, as the shepherds did hundreds of years ago. If your songs only take advantage of the unique sound effects or the full range notes and keys in the Fujara’s range then so be it. In doing this you are in the true tradition of this beautiful instrument, you are in the “Now”.