“But most families do have a didgeridoo”, 1960s Gunabidji people, north-central Arnhem Land
This was recorded in the vicinity of the mouth of the Liverpool River in the early 1960s – near what is now known as Maningrida community – on the coast of north-central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia.
The land-owning group of the area is known variously as Gunavidji, Gunabidji and Kunibídji, and here you can see and hear their version of the didgeridoo.
It is an overtone-absent style of play that is evident in this clip. The instrument itself appears to be one made from pandanus rather than the more typical hardwood more common in later decades.
Today, Maningrida is a linguistically and culturally diverse community. Some of the languages spoken include Burarra, Dangbon/Dalabon, Dhuwal/Dhuwala (Yolngu Matha), Djinang, Ganalbingu, Gun-nartpa, Gurrgoni, Kriol (Creole), Kunwinjku, Kune, Kunbarlang, Nakkara, Ndjébbana, Rembarrnga and Wulaki.
Maningrida was initially established as a trading post just after WW2, partly to stem the westward flow of Aboriginal people towards Darwin.
With the drastic changes brought about by the war effort, Aboriginal people often walked overland for many hundreds of kilometres to see what the fuss was about in Darwin and surrounds. Some individuals never returned to country and were buried in Darwin and neighbouring areas.