Answers to Question 13, Do you feel the didjeridu creates a connection between you and Aboriginal People? and their explanations.

respondents who said yes - skip to those who said no

made me move to live w/'em!

Yes, it opened the door for me to connect to their culture.

Yes, I came to Arnhemland to learn more about Yidaki and stayed for 4 years working at Yirrkala art centre. I have worked with the majority of well known Yolngu Yidaki makers and as a result have developed close relationships with many Yolngu.

"Yes, but". I do not feel a strong connection with the original/yidaki/traditional aspect - I do not connect deeply with the people. My feeling is more of a discovered aspect of myself, very different and not aspiring to aboriginality. It's a thing we share but my voice through this thing is very NOT Aboriginal

If it were not for the didjeridu, I would know absolutely nothing about aboriginal people, their situation, or their culture. I feel the didjeridu has opened a door toward some degree of understanding about a group of people on the other side of the world.

Thanks to the didge I got interested in their culture and been able to meet a number of Aboriginal People.

Traditional Instruments are not just musical instruments to me but much more an artefact of high cultural significance. I do appreciate the sociocultural background of an instrument just as much as the playing quality.

It has exposed me to their culture, and has created an interest in it for me.

Well.. at the end of the day, there's always the "business" connection, if none other.

very little, but it's something in common we can talk about

Through the music and the instrument I got more interested in Aboriginal People than I was before, and sought information and contact/communication. Because it was around 1988 that I started playing, it was just around that time that time, with the whitefellows celebrating the bicentennial, Aboriginal Australian people were making extra efforts to let their position of being repressed and discriminated in their very own country and that this was not really a reason for celebration.

The connection is incumbent on me. I must show respect and honor everywhere I play the didge.

Playing the didjeridu, and especially learning what I can about yirdaki I always feel some "connection" with Aboriginal people. Having also visited North-East Arnhem land and experienced at first hand the role that the yirdaki plays in the life of Yolngu, I feel this connection at a deeper level.
Playing the didjeridu for other people leads invariably to questions about the Aboriginal people and thus indirectly another connection as I recount from my experience what I know about the life and culture of the Aboriginal people of Australia.

It feels like its their voice that they want to share

Not in an extreme manner, like some cosmic thing, more like a grounding type of feeling, an acknowledgement that they gave the world this gift and a thank-you to them, and a feeling that I will give the instrument and culture respect while I take it on my own journey.

Playing Yolngu Rhythms brings the spirits, thoughts, experiences, knowledge of Yolngu ancestors to my breathe, blood, spirit and mind. Even though I'm still in search of understanding, the Yidakiman spirit guides me to the path of my learning. Intuition has been my teacher thus far, and I know this because of the confirmation of my intuition by the Yolngu elders. That intuition to me is the Yolngu ancestors speaking to me. I continuously have to empty my cup and listen and learn.

Just after I met the didjeridu I got to know bits about the Aboriginal People and their struggles... In my opinion you cant't play didgeridoo without knowing and telling about their history...(and present!)

I moved to live in Australia for 4 years just to study Didjeridu/ Aboriginal culture.I befriended many Aboriginal players in W.A. and then I lived in ArnhemLand with Djalu and learned a little of its traditional context with Yolngu.I was given permission by Djalu (my Malu) to continue playing and teaching what I had learned of "Yidaki" and playing techniques.I have experienced the metaphysical aspects of the Australian Dreamtime and its flora/fauna, that challenged my previous perceptions of reality and expanded my view of the Universe.I experienced incredible revelations of the hidden power of Yidaki and its connection to the Australian landscape,hence no matter how far and long I am away from the Yidaki`s homeland -I will always be part of it and it is always part of me and will always feel spiritually connected to the land and its traditional people.

The didjeridu connection to the dreamtime is via the care and custodianship of the aboriginal australians. I am honored to participate in that connection when I play.

Sound of didjeridu are no need to communicate with speaking.

???? I can't explain. There's an honesty .... a basic value to life .... memories ... experiences ...... things learned?????

It's made me much more interested in Aboriginal culture, but I still know so very little, I'm not sure how stong the connection is.

i suppose it's a bit "out there" but it's more of a karmic/cosmic connection that i "feel" rather than recognize... in other words i think i don't conciously think of aboriginal people when i'm playing (unless i can see other aboriginal art-that connects me in a more tangible sense), i just "know" the spirits are with me when i play.

in order to fully appreciate the instrument, I need to learn about it's origins. learning about it's origins taught me about the people. the people and the didj are connected, therefore I maintain that connection

It is a common interest that opens a dialog. Also, it connects me with the earth as I believe that the Australian Aborigines are.

I had a interesting experience when learning/trying to circular breath ... one night after going to sleep, I had a vivid dream ... in this dream I was sitting on the ground, opposite an Aboriginal man, and I was playing/circular breathing on the didjeridu, the sound and rhythm were incredible!
Upon waking the next day, I was able to circular breath effortlessly!

Though I do NOT attempt to play in an Aboriginal style, even picking up the Didge creates a bond with the originators of the instrument.

They invented it.
The sound reminds me of them

I feel that it has a way of connecting all things.

when I play, it becomes part of the dreamtime

The connection is in awareness. Before i started using a didge i had absolutely no awareness of the political, social, and economic conditions that Australian Aboriginals are experiencing. But learning about the didge necessitates learning about the culture.
I have become more aware of respecting what is Aboriginal. eg; I deliberately do not decorate my didges with dot art, or mimic any of the Aboriginal art designes out of respect for their origin. When introducing the didge to others, I mention issues such as counterfit didges, original artists not being fairly paid, and hte fact that Australian Aboriginals have had to endure the same kinds of injustices that American and Canadian Indians have been through.

I feel that the sound of the didjeridu is evocative of the culture of the aboriginal people of Northern Australia and their aesthetic.

Seeing the Northern Territory the sound seemed to fit the landscape - the 'bama' are part of the landscape.

Sort of silly, but in the same way eating with chopsticks makes you feel a little asian. The sharing of a common experience connects one with others.

Only in the sense that I'm aware of the background of the didjeridu and since I play, there is a connection.

I feel that the didj teaches me things. Since I'm learning the same lessons that the didj is likely to be teaching the aboriginal people that creates a connection.

Let's say that I am very aware of where the didgeridoo comes from and I show a lot of respect to it's history and that is obviously linked with Aboriginal People, culture,... if you show respect you recieve respect...

I became more intrested in them after playing the didgeridu and after spending time with them in Australia.

the animals and nature is becomming moore close to me and my interest for aboriginal people is still growing now i am playing didgeridoo

Spiritual connection, manifesting in a personal connection.

just like when ya get a new car you realize everyone else in the world drives the same car....just playing didge makes me aware of where it comes from and issues relating to it.

how can it not?

I have to remember the didge's origins when hearing or playing it.

Having spent time with Yolngu I feel the didjeridu was the catalyst in bridging my life and culture with theirs. My interest is not only in the instrument but in the culture and traditions of Arnhem Land as well and the didjeridu was the starting point of this journey.

In some ways, I think yes. I guess that the connection is stronger for some than it is for others.
In learning to play this wonderful instrument, I find that I am also learning about the culture with which we associate this haunting sound.

experiance of the Yirdaki spirits .

I think music bring people to antother level of understanding. Interest in each others roots gives reason for tolerance of all peoples

I don't know how to explain that, I want to learn more about they culture ...

I've got a real feeling and passion with this instrument and a very truth respect fot Aboriginal People, I often having a look at all the picture taken during my last trip, I should be happy but I am sad to be so far away from Austalia at present ...

when I play it makes me feel like I'm at Garma with the Yolngu people

Its a nice kind of arts that connects people

the connection is far away (i'm french) but i'll be soon in australia to meet Aboriginal People......(1 februar in brisbane...then cairns and darwin, we are two french players and we got associations for promoting didjeridu so we'd like to visit great players as Mark Atkins, David Hudson, Djalu...we'd like to visit festivals and aboriginal art centres on our way, the conclusion of the aventure should be Yrrkala.

it's a sound from the earth, we all come from the same earth, the same tribe of humans

Like most people my journey startd as a hobby but as I learn more about the instrument my interest and connection with Aboriginal culture grows stronger

When you're playing you get back to the basics, like the Aboriginal people live. I can't really describe it, the connection is just there.

playing and learning about the origin of the instrument creates a bond.

For me it is not possible to play and not be aware of the role the instrument plays in Yolngu culture. There will always be gratitude and repect involved.

playing made me curious about their culture, so I started gathering informations about them

since i play the didge, i have interest about their culture, about australia, fauna and flora etc etc

Breathing is a connection between people,
Music is a connection between people,
Art in general is a connection between people.
Aboriginal people had preserved and shared all of this by the mean of yidaki and graphic arts, so i feel gratefull and related to them by these gifts.

Simply playing the instrument gives me a feeling of connection.

it is an honneur to play a real yidaki, made by one of the oldest people of the world. By playing the yidaki, I fully respect the Aboriginal People and their Aboriginal world

Because of the feeling of beeing a part of the aboriginal culture

Yes. They still have, what most in the west have lost. They have a connection through their rituals and culture and traditions to spiritual diamentions, ways of imagining, and a belief system, which the Aus govenment should consider a national treasure. Mistakenly or otherwise the Didj/Yirdaki is the main artifact representing the indiginious people of Aus. It was the way I came to understand and appreciate the native Aus culture. I came to their culture through the standard Didge and moved on to the Yirdaki style.
Most of my understanding is through the Net.
If I had many lives then one of them would be to ask the Yolongu to participate in their lifestyle and learn the Yirdaki in context with songs and traditions. I would anticipate this to take several years.
I would also understand it if they just told me to bugger off and leave them alone!!!!

i think humans are connected with earth and universe. Aboriginal people have a huge link with elements like persons who practice traditionnal martial arts ( aikido, qi gong,...)A great relation with nature, humans roots and universe.. playing didgeridoo is a way for me to live my dreamtime and be connected with aboriginal feelings and real humans feelings and roots. it's also a way for self healing.

Yes, in that it started meoff on the road to learn more about their culture.

Not so much now maybe but years ago when visiting Oz and talking to traditional pullers once they realised you were not of the 'look,look,nothing'type of enquirer and had a genuine interest in the instrument and the culture behind it then i found that a common link was formed, within the bounds of normal Aboriginal reserve.

Unexplainable really, I can just feel something.

back to basic ! Love to the earth.

I feel since it was first played by aboriginal people the instruments roots lay with them. The didgeridoo is a huge part of me therefore I'm connected to those same roots. Not through blood, but through vibration, sound and rythm. But that is just my thought.

My interest in Aboriginal culture is often regarded by Aboriginal people. Many of my friends in Sydney are Aboriginal and we met through playing the didjeridoo.

In a way it does despite not knowing the full traditional way in playing it, But feel connected through their influence.

My first travel to Arnhem land was for meeting with the traditional owner of the yidaki.

i just feel its totally indiginous with trhem and it feels just write and a kind off connection...i just want to absorb more and more and especially when i hear yolngu its like how where and i want it and again and again!

There is a connection through the music and the stories told on the didge

I love the concept that I am (attempting) making the same sounds from 40,000 years ago

respondents who said no

I'm a stubborn bugger so I play the didge because I could not when I first tried. Now 9 years later I find it hard not to play. I am involved with some performance art and a group of friends where the didgeridoo is my main instrument so play regularly.

That si not to say that it won't, but I've experienced Didjeridu in a primarily western context.

For me it's just an instrument, I love to play it because of the sound, not because of it's tradition

I have never interacted with any Aboriginal people

It's a log. I play it. I like it a lot. It isn't any more holy or spiritual than a trombone.

I play for enjoyment of the musical sound, not to recreate a different people's culture.

I haven't realy met an aboriganal so far. I'm realy interested in their playing style however and would like to learn some of their skills and techniques. Playing the didgerido made me more aware of the aboriginals, their culture and their problems. I don't feel a special connection however.

Not really because i play western style, and aboriginals play Northern style ( traditional)

Connection with Earth Power.

for Aborigénes the didjeridu is an isntrument of ceremony, when they play it is a hitory(story) which(who) is told, for my part the didjeridu is a passion.maybe, but fact of playing didjeridu connects us.

possibly thoughts transmissions

I've got a lot of respect to Aboriginal people, but I don't know them (for the moment) and I'm interessted by didgeridoo as a music instrument.

I do not know much about their culture, and playing is for me a personnal experience before all.

The didjeridu is just an insturment, it of itself does not create a connection to the people who invented it. That takes its own motivation and interest.

At the start, I said yes because I didn't know aboriginal culture. But when I went to outback, I didscovered the discrimination, the hypecrisis come frome Balandas. I play didg, but I cant forget what I am, n' Shame on me and my race. One day I'll returen to Aussi n'I'll say sorry to aboriginal mans for my mistakes. If I play didgeridoo in france it's only for show there is an another culture which we have to preserve.
But I'm afraid to not respect dreamin' rules and aboriginal rules

I am a balanda, who identifies with himself, but has the absolute respect for Yolngu and the Yirdaki. If you are not one with yourself, you can never be one with another...

In and of itself, no, not really. It has the potential to be a catalyst for communication and affinity. But without spending time with and "being with" Aboriginal people there is no "real" connection.