Kombumerri Traditional Custodian Contributor: Justine Dillon

This resource is related to the following Learning Area –

And responds to the following Enquiry Question –

Q75.Indigenous music and instruments and who is allowed to play them.

Resource transcript –

Yeah, so, we know about the didgeridoo, obviously. Not an instrument of the Kombumerri people but we have introduced it because of our crossed bloodlines… like I’ve got Quandamooka, some family… Kombumerri have Mununjali. So, we bought that in as part of… to fulfill the genre for people. In our CBD area they ask for us to do dances, welcomes and we’ve had people ask for didge and when we explain to them we don’t have didgeridoo… oh, okay, well we’ll find another group that does and it’s like, but I just told you that’s not an instrument from our area. So, to alleviate that we’ve incorporated it to fulfill that genre for people and plus because of our shared bloodlines. Some of our cousins have learnt it because of their Straddie bloodlines but the didgeridoo alone… like, I remember being 8 and my auntie telling me… cause I went to touch it and pick it up. “Don’t touch that, barbam!” “What? Why? I’m allowed to touch it.” “No, you’re not. Don’t put it near your teeth, you’ll get pregnant.” And I’m like, I’m like a kid, I can’t get pregnant and she’s like just don’t touch it and I said… it’s just to instill that fear in us that there is so much cultural rules around that. Don’t touch it, it’s men’s business, like not for women at all. Fair enough, that’s our culture, heritage, but I’ve been told there are tribes up north that allow the women to do it but only in the circumstances of when all the Elder men have passed on and there is no one to initiate the men. So, they’ll teach like one or two women, in that bloodline only, because their parents or grandparents, their dads aren’t there to teach the men so the women will have to take it on. And, you know, that’s their business but here we don’t have it. Other instruments… we have clapsticks which we love. Again, the women, we have the leaves and branches we could use. There’s dance and song movement… just trying to think of other instruments… we’ve incorporated a couple from around the area like rain sticks, we love that. Everyone loves the rain sticks sound. It’s so refreshing. What else? Clapping, body movements, you know, a lot of stomping, clicking. I’d say they’d make a lot of sounds, like bird sounds, cause the boys still do it to this day. They love making the animal sounds. I’d say that would have been a lot of their instruments. And, their paints, like body paint would have told a lot of their stories, as well. When they were doing corroboree with the men and women’s circle combined, they would have painted themselves up. The markings meant certain things to the people