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Australian Aboriginal Culture & Didgeridoo News and Articles:

Didges and Animals.


The following are extracts from mail sent to the famous didjeridu mailing list.

Geoff Brown wrote:

Dingo, Australian native animals and didgeridoos.My best animal didge story is from the recent Garma Festival. During the first day at the festival site, Wandoo Tony and his incredible bush truck took a few of us - Stephen Kent, Rio and Tai Olesky and me - out to the beach at Cape Arnhem for a swim. As we were leaving there was a wild dingo on the bluff/dune above where we were parked. Tony took out one of his own instruments (one that I think was subsequently painted by Djalu's family) and played some toots for the Dingo, who would cock his head and look very interested for each one. The rest of us then goaded Maestro Kent into serenading our visitor. The dingo watched for a few moments, apparently unimpressed, and trotted off back into the bush.

Tony wrote:

The last ten weeks I had the opportunity to play didge to a wide array of animals and wildlife. Geoff Brown already tall you about the Armhen land dingo and the five gringos. From this experience I realise that animal will most of the time react to overtone toot, maybe it is why Yolgnu people always start with some overtone when playing yirdaki just to let know everyone around (human being, animal and spirit) that they are about to play some tunes...

I play in front of a Bull one afternoon, on the King Edward river bank (North Kimberley). As I was droning away my mind slide to the time of the invasion of Aboriginal land by the cattle mob, I was visualising a hunting party spearing the beast and turning it into tucker. Sad image of the white settler reaction to cattle spearing were flashing in front of me.

Roebourne goal, Western Australia.In those day any aboriginal suspected to be involved in cattle spearing was ether shot on the spot or chain by the neck and send to the infamous Roebourne jail thousand of kilometres away... All the sudden my meditation was interrupted by a pair of horn propelled by half a ton of meat running straight at me, I made a quick escape behind a paperbark tree with the adrenaline pumping... A word of advice, if you play near a bull plan your escape way first no BS.

Water Goanna and the didjeridu. My best wildlife audience is without doubt the water goanna (Varatus mitchelli or mertensi). They always live in wonderful place like waterhole billabong and river and they don't mind our intrusion in their territory after you show some peaceful behaviour. They will bask in the sun on a rock near the water edge and listen to your tune after a while they will close their eyes for a short time and suddenly they will pop out of their dream an scan the surrounding for any sign of their traditional predator like eagle, dingo, Aboriginal hunter and the feral one like cat and fox, at this stage they look a bit pist off for having relaxed their look out to follow the drone... It was hard to leave my new friend Watty in is water hole and to hit the dusty red road again.

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