The Didgeridoo is a woodwind instrument that originated in Northern Australia. Traditionally, didgeridoo making was a very long, thought out process. There would be certain people who were in charge of finding eligible trees, either a stringybark or the woolybutt. To find if the tree was good to use or not, they would tap the tree to see if it was hollow. Once they found a good tree, they would chop it down with a special stone axe. The next step was to remove all evidence of termites, if the tree had any damage. They would do this by soaking the tree in water and then scooping it out with a stick. Once the tree has been cleaned out properly, they would strip the bark off of the outside of the tree with a machete or other similar tool. They would then seal the holes in the tree with bees wax. The tree will get shaved down to the right size, and bees wax is used to smooth out the rough edges of the mouth piece. Didgeridoos were seen as a sacred instrument. They were all painted with different designs, which were said to be secret. The design was painted on before the ceremony and then washed off when the ceremony was finished. Other ceremonies would have a didgeridoo specifically made for the ceremony. Usually, designs are not painted on to didgeridoos that are made for recreational play. The most common things that have been painted in the past are lizards, turtles, crocodiles, human figures, birds and other animals. Traditionally, the colour scheme used to paint the instrument has a natural, earthy tone.
The most common people you would see playing the didgeridoo are “Medicine Men” or shamans. The healer of the tribe typically used the didgeridoo as a calming tool. They are said to bring space for people to forget their normal patterns of life and let their spirits wander for a bit.
The didgeridoo was not usually accompanied with any other instruments or voices. It was used as a calming tool, so having too many different sounds was distracting. Although other instruments are not usually played, it was common for more than one didgeridoo to be played at the same time. Often times they would have their own pitch and sound to them, so when two didgeridoos complimented each other, they would be played together to create a harmony. In some cases, other rhythm instruments like shakers and clappers were used alongside the didgeridoo during ceremonies.
The didgeridoo is still a common instrument around the world today. There are many differences found between