HOW TO MAKE AN APACHE FIDDLE The best way to see the making of an Apache Fiddle is in the video of Anthony Belvado in Youtube. He is an authentic Apache who makes fiddles and knows some of the Apache songs that would use the accompaniment of the fiddle. It is well worth watching. He is a professional artisan. There are one or two fundamental differences between his fiddles and mine. He leaves the ends closed and puts sound holes in the fiddle. I sometimes leave the ends open as the sound holes. I find this easier and don't feel that it affects the sound or structure. I also notice that he splits the violin pieces with a saw. I search for a natural crack in the stalk and split it with a large knife and hammer. My strings and bows are not made from horse hair or from animal hide. To make a fiddle you have to cut a piece from the agave stalk between 30 and 50 centimeters in length.Next you need to clean the outer shell removing the loose skin with a sharp knife. Next take a large knife or chopper and split the stalk in two. Usually there is a natural crack to make it easier. Alternatively saw down the middle. Next you need to remove the inner soft pith. A strong pocket knife is usually OK. As you get nearer to the hard shell you may prefer a chisel. If you leave either or both ends open you need to be more particular in smoothing the inside of the shell. The Apaches normally left about 3/4 of an inch at each end. This way you can leave the inside a bit rougher but you will need to make some sound holes along the stalk. I glue the two parts back together with natural white gum; you may prefer the old Apache way of tying them together with bands of wire or cowhide. Now you need to make a hole across the top end to take the tuning peg and another hole at the top connecting with the peg-hole to allow the string in. At the bottom you need a small hole to attach the other end of the string (or a smaller peg inserted vertically). Lastly you need a small support for the string at the top and if you don't have a peg at the bottom you need a small support bridge at the bottom.Tuning can be to your own preference. A normal violin bow produces a good sound but a handmade folk-type bow gives more authenticity. Don't forget the bow will need rosin. Agave is not a plant that is widely available and the stalk only grows after about 15 years. For anyone who wants to build their own Apache fiddle I can supply a piece of stalk. (use the contact page).