Yidaki: Didjeridu and the Sound of Australia
Didjeridu is the iconic sound of Australia.
National Museum of Australia
24 June – 26 September 2021
For all its fame and familiarity, most of us know little about the instrument. Until now, there has never been a major exhibition about the didjeridu. As the custodian of a globally significant collection of historic and contemporary didjeridus, at the South Australian Museum we felt responsible for that story. But it is not our story to tell. This is a Yolngu story. So we have gone back to the beginning, exploring its meanings and power with the Yolngu people – cultural custodians of the instrument – who know it as Yidaki.
We spent 2016 in the stringybark forests of Arnhem Land co-curating this story, working in collaboration with Yolngu people – particularly with the world’s foremost authority on Yidaki, Djalu Gurruwiwi. In this exhibition he and his family introduce you to the instrument, its power and meaning in Yolngu life. In doing so, they illuminate the specific cultural and musical origins of this quintessentially Australian instrument, and how it can have meaning for us all.
Yidaki: Didjeridu and the Sound of Australia is an immersive exhibition developed by the South Australian Museum. Visitors can discover Yidaki through film and audio installations, explore a stringy bark forest and learn about Yolngu culture, where Yidaki are not just musical instruments, they are social instruments, instruments of healing and of spiritual life.
South Australian Museum | 3 March – 16 July 2017
Yidaki international | Japan | Echigo-Tsumari Triennale | 29 July – 17 September 2018
Yidaki Australia | Darwin | MAGNT | 13 April 2019 – 7 July 2019
Yidaki Australia | Brisbane | Queensland Museum | 30 November 2019 – 23 March 2020
Yidaki Australia | Canberra | National Museum of Australia | 24 June – 26 September 2021