Apache violin, 1989
The apache violin, or fiddle, was played particularly for ceremonials, but also for personal enjoyment and expression. National Heritage Fellowship Award winner Chelsey Wilson crafted this instrument and presented it to the Smithsonian. The origins of the tsii'edo'a'tl (Apache for "wood that sings") are unclear. It may be modeled after European violins, which appeared with Spain's colonization efforts in 18th- and early-19th-century Alta California and the American Southwest.