Have you ever seen a movie or t.v. program about Australia? If you have, you’ve probably already heard a didgeridoo, a unique instrument originally created when termites hollowed out long sticks or branches they found in the outback. The didgeridoo produces a wonderfully odd noise that sounds like a cross between a ship’s foghorn and an elephant lost in the jungle. If you have a long tube from giftwrap or a length of pvc piping, you can create a good working version of a didgeridoo to experiment with at home.
A long, long time ago – so long ago it happened in dreamtime – some ancestors decided to go camping. They went off and had a great time, but the weather turned cold at night so they built a warm, glowing campfire. As they sat around the fire, adding more sticks for warmth, one ancestor noticed that a branch he was about to toss into the flames contained the small, white ants that many people call termites. The ants had eaten away at the branch until it was hollow and they were still living and crawling inside. Since the ancestor respected the ants and did not want to toss them into the fire, he pointed the stick toward the heavens and blew gently to remove the little creatures. As he did, the white ants flew out of the stick and up into the heavens to become the twinkling stars that we see in the night sky today!
And, to everyone’s surprise, the stick made the most wonderful, unique, incredible noise. It was the sound of the first didgeridoo! And that is the story of how one ancestor’s respect for all living creatures led to this wonderful musical instrument discovery.
Would you like to hear a didg, color a didg or make your own version and learn to play it at home? Check out the links below.
HEAR A DIDGERIDOO
COLOR A DIDGERIDOO ONLINE
DIDGERIDOO COLORING PAGE (print-out version)
MAKE A SIMPLE DIDG FROM A WRAPPING PAPER TUBE
A STURDY HOMEMADE DIDG FROM PVC PIPING
ALL ABOUT THE BILMA – SPECIAL RHYTHM STICKS FROM AUSTRALIA http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/make-your-own-bilma-australia-clapsticks/