Handwhistling includes several styles: one-finger, two fingers, clasped hands, and cupped hands. Both the clasped-hand and cupped-hand methods use thumb knuckles together as a mouthpiece. I use the cupped-hand method.

My handwhisting neighbor from Washington State cups his hands right-handed. He tells me my hand-cupping position is left-handed. I write with my right hand, so go figure!


According to Fred Newman’s book Mouthsounds, some early Native American tribes cupped their hands and conveyed messages that sounded like birdcalls to the White Man. That is the extent of my historical knowledge about handwhistling, and I invite visitors to my Web site to send additional historical data about handwhistling to me at dunsidhe1@msn.com .

I thought I was the only handwhistler in the world when I began learning this art in 1947, but I have run into other whistlers who use my method. Whistling with me in the photo above is Mike Riston, a “hand-cooer” with his own Web site at www.riston.net/home/handcoo.htm .

Other handwhistlers whom I’ve met through Canadian pucker-whistler Linda Hamilton’s “Orawhistle” listserve on Yahoo! are listed on my Links page.

Be sure to visit the page that tells about my book, A Handwhistler, Memories of Creativity And Activism. There’s a whole chapter in the book that traces my handwhistling history and how I developed it to its present level.



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