MEDICINE PARK, Okla. (KFOR) – First American legend tells of a man in mourning for his wife who left his people to be alone.
While in the wilderness, he heard the wind blow through the rocks and trees.
He returned with a wooden flute.
“It’s just you, your breath and this flute,” says Travis Kohahcheet.
He grew up listening to his mom’s old records first, heavy metal second.
It wasn’t until he was 23 that he picked up a wooden flute and played for an audience.
An old man that day bought him one and made him promise something.
“He told me to promise that I would do something with it,” Travis recalls. “So, ever since, I’ve really tried to get a grasp on what that meant.”
The town of Medicine Park has always been a magical place, at the foot of a sacred mountain, the whisper of wind through Medicine Creek sounding like a healing breath.
“Medicine Park, to me, means healing,” he says. “I think we’re in the perfect place to be able to express ourselves through talent.”
As another October approached and fellow flute players from different tribes made plans to come here again to play, Travis himself wondered if he could manage to perform this year.
His is in mourning, himself, over his father’s recent passing.
But the more he thought about it, the more he felt like he should.
“My dad would want me to,” he says of his performing at the festival. “I know that, and I know my Heavenly Father wants me to.”
Every breath is a gift.
For Travis and other flute players, every song is a kind of prayer.
“It’s not about me. I’m a vessel,” he says. “When you breathe you don’t keep it inside yourself or you’ll suffocate and die.”
The 13th annual Medicine Park Art Walk and Flute Festival is Oct. 8-11.
For more information go to www.facebook.com/groups/MPNAFF.