13 Didgeridoo Facts and Interesting Trivia
1. The Didgeridoo is a wind instrument thought to have originated in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia.
2. Researchers have suggested it may be the world’s oldest musical instrument, over 40,000 years old.
3. There is a little evidence of the didgeridoo being used as far south as the Alice Springs region of Australia, but traditionally never in the southern three quarters of the country.
4. It has been suggested that the Didgeridoo was an adaptation of traded instruments from India and/or Asia, this is possibly why it was mainly used by coastal tribes of the far North of Australia.
5. Traditionally didgeridoos were made from eucalyptus tree trunks and limbs hollowed out, while still living, by termites, (a small insect like an ant but a relative of the cockroach) or from bamboo in the far north of Australia.
6. Traditionally the termite hollowed Didgeridoo was cut to an average length of 130 to 160cm and cleaned out with a stick or sapling.
7. Today didgeridoos are made from a large variety of materials such as glass, leather, hemp, ceramic, plastic, solid timbers carved out, logs drilled out, dried/hollowed cactus stems, aluminum and other metals and just about any material which can be formed into a hollow tube!
8. The didgeridoo was traditionally used as an accompaniment along with chants, singers and dancers, often in ceremonies.
9. Today the didgeridoo is heard in almost every style of music, rock, jazz, blues, pop, hip hop, electronic, techno, funk, punk, rap etc. There are truly no limits to the use of this awesome instrument.
10. In a few aboriginal groups in certain ceremonies men only played the didgeridoo, but in many groups, outside of ceremony, men, women and children played it.
11. In the same way the guitar originating in Europe, is now owned, made and played by people across the world, the Australian didgeridoo is now owned, made and played by many people all around the globe.
12. In the same way guitars and some drums were originally shaped in the form of the female body and were for men to play only in those cultures, men in certain ceremonies often only used the Didgeridoo.
Today it would be illegal (and ridiculous) in most countries to even suggest that the guitar, the drums or the Didgeridoo were not to be played anywhere in the world by one sex or another.
13. The word didgeridoo can be spelt many different ways, none of which are Aboriginal names for the instrument. The word “didgeridoo” was a western word given to the instrument around 100 years ago. For more info see ‘The Word Didgeridoo’.