In 1959, Boxelder, species Acer negundo, was identified as the type of wood used by the Ancestral Pueblo Indians to make the earliest known wooden flutes of the Americas. A number of the flutes, remarkably still in perfect condition, were found in a 1931 archaeological excavation, located in present-day northeastern Arizona. They have been carbon-dated to between 620-670 AD., and are today located in the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
These flutes were fashioned as an end-blown, open tube, with 6 holes that created tones ranging over one and a half octaves. They were approximately 29 inches long and about an inch diameter, and were decorated with feathers from various colorful birds, including Stellar and Pinyon Jays, Red-naped Sapsuckers and Red-shafted Flickers. The flutes have been carbon-dated to between 620-670 A.D. and are today housed in the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
Pueblo flutes are still made today by members of the Hopi and Jemez Pueblos, who, along with several other tribes, are descendants of the Ancient Pueblos.