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Boomerang

The Boomerang’s uses are wide and varied, and to the Aborigines it was a highly prized possession. Not only was this used to hunt game, but it could be used to create fire , as a digging implement and as a musical instrument.

At a corroboree (tribal gathering), the Boomerang would be used with another one, clapping them together to accompany song and dance. Its most common use was in hunting food.

It would be thrown into a flock of birds with the chance of bringing down more than one, or in hunting larger land animals.

The Boomerang was shaped from wood, in central Australia, Mulga wood was commonly used. In other areas Black Wattle, Bat Willow, Needlewood or Mangrove were the choice of wood.

Depending on the area, Boomerangs from these regions are painted with ochre with incise designs representing totemic clans and travels of spirit hero’s or simply left in its natural state.

Aboriginal creation accounts describe how the Australian Landscape was formed and shaped by the ancestors in the Dreamtime.

In the Dreamtime, many features of the land were created by mythological spears, clubs and Boomerangs which were hurled into mountains, deserts, rivers and the sea .

Boab Nuts

Found in the Kimberly region of Western Australia, there are several varieties and colours fron rusty red to dark brown. A popular snack especially with young children.

The velvet like skin is usually brushed off after the nut has been dried out. Then the designs are carefully incised with a sharp instrument. They are also ocassionally painted.

Emu Callers

Emu callers are an aboriginal hunting tool. Just like the didgeridoo, the emu callers are made from braches that are hollowed out by termites. When hit against the palm of the hand, emu callers make an unusual sound that aroused the curiosity of the emu. Once in sight, Aboriginal hunters would either hunt down the emu or steal eggs from the nest.

Clap Sticks

Also called the bilmi In the language of the yolungu aboriginies of Northeast Arhem Land, clapsticks have been traditionally used in Corroboree (dance) for thousands of years as an accompaniment to the didgeridoo and song.

Hold one clapstick loosely in one hand and strike with the other. Experiment with placement of the strike to achieve a clear ,resonant sound.

Bull roarers

The bull-roarer consists of a thin flat piece of wood suspended from a string at one end. It is whirled round and round at arm’s length, turning on its axis and making a whirring sound that grows louder the faster it is swung. Because of the reverence in which they were held, it was customary for them to be decorated with paint usually with incised totemic designs in which spirals were a dominant feature.

Dreamtime

Aboriginal creation accounts describe how the Australian Landscape was formed and shaped by the ancestors in the Dreamtime.

In the Dreamtime, many features of the land were created by mythological spears, clubs and Boomerangs which were hurled into mountains, deserts, rivers and the sea .

Emu Eggs

Emu eggs are traditionally gathered as a food source for the Aboriginal people. They can be used as water carriers for long journeys. As a food they were usually put amongst the hot embers, cooked in their shell, broekn open and eaten.

Carving a fragile egg is an intricate and delicate art requiring great skill. Emu eggs are a deep flecked green colour, as the carver takes away each layer, seven in all, to reaveal varied colours of the inner shell.

Coolamons

Typically carved out of wood, and generally made by the men, coolamons look like a mini canoe with curved sides. They vary in size between 30 and upto 70cm. Coolamons were traditionally used by Aboriginal women to carry fruits, nuts, bush tucker, water and even babies.

Didgeridoos

The Didgeridoo is commonly claimed to be the worlds oldest wind instrument. First they had to find a tree, a tree of the right shape that had been eaten out by termites. It was then cut down and with a sharp instrument stripped of its bark.

Using possibly a spear the debris was pushed through the hollowed trunk and then hot coals were forced through to kill off any remaining termites and leaves. This also had the effect of sterilising the didgeridoo. Then came the most secret process, the carving or the painting on of the sacred symbols associated with the ceremony about to take place.

The didgeridoo is painted with special Shamanic totem animals that could move between “worlds”. For example, A frog can move between the land and the water and a lizard moves between the surface and the underground. After using a didgeridoo for one occasion, it was either destroyed or buried in the mud for use at a later date. This was done to prevent women and uninitiated males from seeing the ritual symbols.

Anyone listening to several didgeridoos will notice that no two sound alike. It’s sound is unique and unable to be copied with any modern instrument. The didgeridoo is the most recognised Aboriginal musical instrument and has recently entered the field of contemporary music.

Get in Touch

Shop 58, Forrest Chase
(Downstairs next to Hans Cafe
Directly Opposite The Green Cactus)
Forrest Place
Perth, Western Australia 6000
08 9221 5800