Aboriginal Culture, Perth
The boomerang is the long range weapon of the Australian Aborigine and was devised only in Australia. No other peoples anywhere else in the world use this unique weapon.
Australian Aborigine has been making boomerangs for a very long time - for hunting, tribal warfare and also as musical instruments in secret ceremonies and corroborees.
Boomerangs are traditionally fashioned from Mulga or Black Wattle. Returning boomerangs were made from roots of these trees which already had the right shape. This is because the tips of a boomerang will break off when it hits the ground unless the grain of the wood follows the shape.
Fighting boomerangs also called killer boomerangs - are larger and heavier and have a distinctive hook shape. They were used in tribal warfare and could inflict serious wounds and they were also used to bring down medium size prey like wallabies, goanas etc.
For ceremonial purposes boomerangs were richly decorated with Aboroginal Artwork. Usually the decorations related specifically to the corroboree or ceremony where the boomerangs were to be used.
Australian Aboriginals used clapsticks as a percussion instrument in their dancing and singing.
In traditional Aboriginal corroborees clapsticks are used to provide the rhythm for the dance as the didgeridoo player provides the melody with his haunting sounds.
Today Aboriginal clapsticks are used all over the world as an ancient percussion instrument.
The clapsticks are made from either Iron wood - a very dense and heavy timber which provides for excellent sound quality or Wattle another beautifully grained timber with good sound properties.
Bullroarers are thin tear-shaped pieces of wood attached to a long cord.
To use a bullroarer, spin it around it's own axis, holding the end of the string in a big circle above your head. If done correctly the bullroarer will produce an eerie whirring sound that carries well in the barren landscape of Australia.
It's said that bullroarers were used in secret Aboriginal ceremonies. Other people believe bullroarers were used as the Aboriginal 'bush telephone', to communicate over long distances.
Forks are didjes with two hollow branches going into one trunk. If the junction is in the lower half of the didj, it can usually be played by two people at the same time. All Forks allow a single player to switch between two keys while blowing into one mouthpiece. This is achieved by opening or closing the other mouthpiece of the fork with your hand while playing.
Bells are didjeridus which are flared or tapered towards the bottom. They look great and usually result in better sound and/or easier playing. The selection currently online have bottom diameters between 120 and 150mm.
Australian Aboriginal culture can claim to be the oldest continuous living culture on the planet.
Recent dating of the earliest known archaeological sites on the Australian continent - using thermoluminescence and other modern dating techniques - have pushed back the date for Aboriginal presence in Australia to at least 40,000 years.
The hallmark of Aboriginal culture is 'oneness with nature'. In traditional Aboriginal belief systems, landscape had the central importance Christian culture attached to the bible. Prominent rock, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, islands, beaches and other natural features - as well as sun, moon and visible stars - had their own stories of creation and its inter-connectedness. To the traditional Aborigine they are all sacred: environment is the essence of Australian Aboriginal godliness. Out of this deep reverence for nature Aborigines learned to live in remarkable harmony with the land and its animals.It seems there's a lot our modern world can learn from these people.