April 22 - June 4, 2008
Expressing traditional values and the spiritual nature of Native American people through music is the goal of Blackfeet flautist and artisan, Troy De Roche. Having grown up in and around Heart Butte, Montana, De Roche has experienced both the historical and customary values and practices of his people, as well as the contemporary struggle, absorbing both with equal measures of respect and appreciation. He has been given the name Shu'k Sha'mii, which means "Good Medicine," for the healing powers of his music.
De Roche is recognized as one of the few authentic Native American flute makers, having shown his work at the Heard Museum, San Diego Museum of Man, Northwest Folklife Festival and Red Desert Roundup, in addition to numerous smaller venues. Each flute an original handcrafted piece of art, the quality of De Roche's craftsmanship is evident in the beautiful and clear tones of his instruments. In addition to the United States, individual pieces are in private collections in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, England, and Scotland.
De Roche is a frequent performer at shows, festivals, workshops and exhibitions nationwide and overseas. From England to Hawaii, De Roche continues to share the gift of his music with diverse audiences. Music has played a significant role in De Roche's life from his early childhood when he listened to his grandparents play fiddle and mandolin every morning before breakfast. Surrounded by a family of artisans, he was instilled with a respect for the traditions of his people. Initially hand crafting flutes, he then began to create original compositions. His first two recordings, Shaman's Bone Whistle and Listen My People, have sold over 15,000 copies.
As preserving tradition is an important part of De Roche's life, he regularly participates in educational workshops and seminars. Additionally, he and his wife, Liz, are co-directors of the Federation of American Natives, which hosts the Hilo Inter-Tribal Powwow in Wailoa River Park, Hilo, Hawaii.
Prices of work for sale can be obtained by contacting the Pikuni Gift Shop, located in the Museum of the Plains Indian, at (406) 338-7597 or (406) 338-7954. After the exhibition closes contact Troy De Roche at PO Box 344, Mountain View, Hawaii, 96771-0344, or through his website, songstick.com.
The Museum of the Plains Indian is managed by the US Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board. For hours of operation call the museum at (406) 338-2230.