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The Didgeridoo Story

Didgeridoo, Didjeridu, YidakiThe Story - The didgeridoo is an ancient musical instrument played by the Australian Aborigines who consider it to be quite important in their tribal ceremonies. The didgeridoos are made from trunks or limbs of eucalypt trees such as the Bloodwood, Stringybark, Woolybutt, Scarlet Gum, Yellow Box, Mallee and others. The raw timber is felled by contracted aboriginal tribes and only the naturally termite eaten logs are accepted and then treated, ready for the artist to paint.

Legend has it that the didgeridoo (or its Spiritual name: "Yulungal") has a Dream Time link - this being the embodiment of the Rainbow Serpent's voice. It is considered by some tribes to hold the voice of the kindly carpet snake god "Cunmurra" and brought to earth in the Dream Time by "Kudajuk" the Songmaker. (It was believed the didgeridoo was a long horn or hollow reed in which he kept all his chants and songs which were given to him by the great Earth Mother, "Yammacoona" to bring to the earthfolk. It was "Wunyella", the red bellied black snake who helped sing the songs and chants into the wooden horn - and so music and happiness came to the earthfolk.)

Traditionally the didgeridoo is played by male members of the tribe. The aboriginal women were not allowed to play the didgeridoo. Should they be so unwise as to try to blow the didgeridoo she would most likely have many, many children.

To play the didgeridoo requires a technique called circular breathing which allows the droning sound to go on without the need to take a breath. Basically you breathe in through your nose - at the same time you blow out through your mouth using your cheek muscles to force the air out of your mouth and puffed out cheeks. To find out how to play this unique tribal instrument use one of our videos available in NTSC or PAL formats.

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