where the wood is collected for didgeridoos. Learn more about didgeridoos
and the Australian Bush land.
How Didgeridoos are Made
The didgeridoo is still made in the traditional way by
using specific eucalyptus trees that have been naturally hollowed out by
termites. Termites nest in the trunks and branches of these trees, eating
the wood from the inside out.
These specific trees are carefully selected from the
Australian bush for their suitability and are crafted into a didgeridoo.
Our practices of collecting wood from the Australian bush follows
environmentally friendly codes;
click here to
learn more about didgeridoos and
the Australian environment.
The bark is removed from the tree and any debris
from the inside is taken out. To make the didgeridoo play well it needs to
be cut to a certain length. The ends are then chiselled out to enhance the
sound. The wood is then allowed to dry for a period of time to avoid the
splitting of the timber. After the wood has been cured the didgeridoo is
painted, burnt, or carved.
The didgeridoo is a traditional and ceremonial musical
instrument of Aboriginal groups throughout northern Australia. The story
of the instrument’s origin is not accurately known. Some research dates
its emergence to be as recent as 1000 years ago, but other estimates
suggest the didgeridoo was in existence at least 20,000 years ago.
Dreamtime stories trace its use back to the creation of the world and this
understanding is still supported by Aboriginal Elders today.
The didgeridoo was used in ceremonies to provide a
rhythmic accompaniment to singers and dancers in a performance.
Traditionally, an Aboriginal musician would go into the bush and listen to
all the sounds of nature. These sounds were then played back on the
didgeridoo with as much accuracy as possible.
Aboriginal artwork traditionally conveyed stories of past and current
interests. Many animals within the local area are used within the artwork.
There are two main styles of Aboriginal artwork: the
‘ cross hatch’ style of Arnhem Land in the north and the dot painting
style of the central desert region.
Byron Wing, stripping the bark from the wood.
Cleaning the ends of the didgeridoo.
for debris inside the didgeridoo.
the didgeridoo for a nice finish.
A rack of beautiful bell didgeridoos ready to be put in the dryer.
Dean painting didgeridoos in our shop.
Blank didgeridoos from the forest.
Didgeridoos in our shop ready for painting.
Dean is in the background painting.||
More didgeridoos in our shop that are just
waiting to be painted and played.
As noted in the ANU Forestry website
article, Didgeridoo -
An Unusual use of a Forest
Resource, Darryl makes his
didgeridoos from two local hardwood species, bloodwood (eucalyptus
trachyphloia) and black mallee (eucalyptus viridis). Small diameter stems
(120-150 mm) are harvested in a sustainable way from state forests and
private agricultural land. These species grow in open woodlands on dry
sandy loam soils; in areas of high natural fire frequency; and in
association with termite species that naturally destroy the heartwood of
the stems for food and space for their colony. For these reasons, the
growth habit of these species is usually in the form of mallee or
lignotubers (small and multi-stemmed), with hollowed-out stems (by the
termites). This tree form makes it ideal for didgeridoo making as up to
ten instruments can be made from one tree. Because these trees grow from
lignotubers under the ground, new limbs can grow back readily, as they
would after a severe fire. In this way, the tree is not destroyed but
pruned and encouraged to grow back thicker and healthier.|
This is our workshop and store in Yass,
This stem has been partially hollowed out by termites and will become a
beautiful piece of musical art called a didgeridoo. If you look carefully,
you can see light coming through the opposite end of the stem.
Darryl Anderson with the end product
- beautiful handmade didgeridoos of exceptional tone and quality. The
artwork at the back was painted on the outside wall of The Didgeridoo
Man shop in Yass by artist Max Reid Warradji.
to learn more about Darryl Anderson and how he started making