It is generally believed that didgeridoo where sourced from the Northern areas of the Northern Territory and the North East of the Kimberelys. These areas correspond to the distribution of two types of eucalyptus trees, the stringybark and the woollybutt. In traditional times Aborigines in Central Australia would trade their unique boomerangs for various sizes of tope end didgeridoos both wood and bamboo. In the past 100 years didgeridoos have been cut and fabricated throughout Queensland, Western New South Wales and Western Australia.
Once an area is identified the Aboriginal craftsmen would simply tap the tree or brands to see if it is hollow.
|3. CUT TRADITIONALLY
In traditional times special stone axes were used to cut the tree but nowadays chainsaws are used.
The termite residual in each stick can be cleaned out by soaking the length for a few days in water then prising it out with a stick or coals.
The outside bark is then stripped using machetes other instruments.
To test for any holes or cracks in the timber a stick was sealed by hands at both ends and held under water for two or three minutes. To see if any bubbles appeared, if holes were detected they would be filled with bees wax.
The stick is then cut down to achieve the right pitch (usually 1-3 metres). If necessary bees wax is placed around the mouthpiece to achieve a smoother seal.
|8. FINISHED PRODUCT
We then have completed natural didgeridoo that can be painted. (see art)