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Knowledge Base:  
Aboriginal Names For The Didgeridoo
Last Updated: 07/03/2009
There are many different Aboriginal names for the instrument, primarily because there are so many different language groups amongst the Aboriginal people.

In T.B. Wilson's Narrative of a Voyage Round the World (1835), there is a drawing of an Aboriginal man from Raffles Bay, Coburg Peninsula, playing the instrument. Observations made at Raffles Bay, describe the instrument as being about 3 feet long and made of bamboo. Names obtained were eboro, ebero and ebroo.

According to Prof Trevor Jones, (Monash University) there are at least 45 different synonyms for the didgeridoo. Some are bambu, bombo, kambu, pampuu, (may reflect didgeridoo origins from bamboo), garnbak, illpirra, martba, Jiragi, Yiraki, Yidaki, (seem close dialectically and which means "bamoo" although no longer commonly made from bamboo).

Just Some of the many tribal group names for the didgeridoo...

Tribal Group 
Region Name for Didgeridoo
YolnguArnhem Land yidaki
Anindilyakwa Groote Eylandt ngarrriralkpwina = play didge
Gupapuygu 
Arnhem Landyiraka = trachea, windpipe
Djinang Arnhem Land rirtakki
Iwaidja Cobourg Peninsula wuyimba = trachea
Jawoyn Katherine 
artawirr = hollow log
Gagudju 
Kakadu 
garnbak
Lardil 
Mornington Island djibolu
Ngarluma Roebournekurmur
Nyul Nyul Kimberleys, WAngaribi = bamboo
WarrayAdelaide Riverbambu = used for singing
Mayali Alligator River martba
Pintupi Central Australia paampu
ArrernteAlice Springsilpirra



















The following list shows the names for the
instrument in the various Maningrida region languages: 

Kunwinjku, Kune, Kuninjku - mako (pronounced 'margo') 
Rembarrnga - liddung, djalubbu 
Burarra, Gun-nartpa - ngorla 
Dangbon, Dalabon - morlo 
Djinang, Wurlaki - wuyimbarl 
Ndjebbana (the language of the Kunib'dji people) - ngalidjbinja 
Nakkara - ngunebobanja 
Gurrgoni - mudburuja 
Gundjeihmi (and also Kune) morle



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