September 16, 2013

About didgeridoos

The didgeridoo is one of the oldest musical instruments on earth. This wood-wind instrument was developed by indigenous Australians and has been played since the dreamtime. The didgeridoo is a way of uniting the people's consciousness with invisible laws and energy patterns of nature.

Indigenous Australians respect nature and its laws, they live in harmony with nature and traditionally they listen carefully to animals, wind, running water the flapping of birds wings, thumps of feet on the ground and they reflect those sounds accurately in the drowning sound of the didgeridoo.

Didgeridoos are traditionally hand painted to represent the artist or their tribe. The full painting is not only to look good but to protect it from harsh climate changes that would naturally make timber crack. New age didgeridoos are painted just as they would be decades ago, and the aboriginal people have added their own tricks along the way with carving, burning and finishing with oils and other things to make it last longer.

The traditional didgeridoo would be made from eucalyptus as it has better qualities for sound and withstanding liquids such as the heat produced inside from playing for long durations. The mouth piece would sometimes consist of either Bush gum (black wax) or bees wax (white wax), this is to reduce the harshness of the raw timber against the players mouth.

Most didgeridoos you'll see are hollow and you may wonder how this is done. Termites(white ants) would nest on the side of the tree which the didgeridoo is located and they would be eating the insides to create a new home. As time progresses the tree would become completely hollow and the ants would move on, creating the perfect 'stick' (potential didgeridoo). 

In Australia you will come across many stores with didgeridoos, this would create a very difficult choice on which one you should buy. There is NO such thing as a tourist style didgeridoo. All traditional didgeridoos are painted by genuine aboriginal artist who receive royalties for their beautiful work. To find the right didgeridoo you much look for easy to spot signs of a overseas made didgeridoo, such being Bamboo(rings inside and very light) or drilled(straight light shining through with no twist or bend).