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The Culture Of The Didgeridoo Essay

541 words - 3 pages

“The Didgeridoo”

Over the two hundred years from 1770 that followed Captain James Cook‘s discovery‘ of the eastern coast of what is now called Australia but was then New Holland, information about Aboriginal art was always present. The Indigenous cultures of Australia are the oldest living cultures in the world. One of the reasons they have survived for so long is their ability to adapt to change. Despite removing indigenous Aboriginals from their land, separating them, damaging their culture, impressing our beliefs on to them (and using violence); despite our actions, a rich cultural heritage of our human past still lives in North Arnhem Land. It is a priceless heirloom that we must do everything to protect.

We have much to remember about ourselves and to understand what worked well for ...view middle of the document...

The word didgeridoo comes from the word bamboo. Some believe the didgeridoo is the oldest known instrument, from the Australian Aboriginal culture (Latin meaning “in the beginning”). Most researchers believe that the first ones were made from bamboo sticks but now are made from eucalyptus trees. Most of the Aborigine tribes came up with their own name for it. Some of the names are, artawin, garnbak, djibolu and yirtakki.

A didgeridoo is a hollow tube that can be made of any material– wood, metal, glass, plastic, bamboo, clay, etc… that essentially amplifies the vibrations of one’s vibrating lips. According to the Aboriginals, when we play the didgeridoo we are connecting to the ancestors which created the world we live in. At ceremonies or coroborees, the didgeridoo provided musical accompaniment to dances, telling stories of creation and other myths of their culture and of life on Earth. Aborigines consider themselves caregivers of the Earth, stewards of this planet and all of its different life forms. The didgeridoo is considered a male instrument in the Aboriginal society, however females are allowed to play it in some areas of northern Australia. They may play it for entertainment but never for ceremonies. In some areas the women are not allowed to even touch a didgeridoo, because the people in the tribes think that this could curse them in some way.

Today this amazing instrument can now be found in every corner of the world, and has been incorporated into world music globally. The particular sound of the didgeridoo has allowed for it to blend with almost every type of musical instrument and style. From rap, to hard rock, classical, and meditative. Some Aborigines have expressed that this healing instrument can help bring all human beings back to creation and help the Earth maintain by healing itself.

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