London Didgeridoo Shop UK




Master Yidaki crafter & player....

- Djalu Gurruwiwi -

Djalu Gurruwiwi in bush

London, 4th, 5th & 6th July 2009

Sat 10.00 - 13.00
- Introduction to Traditional Yidaki Playing - £120.00
Sat 14.00 - 17.00
- Intermediate w/shop Traditional Playing - £150.00
Sun 10.00 - 13.00
- Introduction to Traditional Yidaki Playing - £120.00
Sun 14.00 - 17.00
- Intermediate w/shop Traditional Playing - £150.00
Mon 10.00 - 13.00
- Introduction to Traditional Yidaki Playing - £120.00
Mon 14.00 - 17.00
- Intermediate w/shop Traditional Playing - £150.00

£20.00 discount for taking both workshops on any one day!

This is a very rare and unique opportunity for you to sit down with the most famous Yidaki man of our lifetime, and learn as Djalu shares and teaches traditional Aboriginal playing techniques handed down by his ancestors.

Djalu will be coming to the London workshops with his artistic wife Dhopiya and several well known Yolngu including Mirrwatnga Munyarryun & Terrance Gaypalani Gurruwiwi. Mirrwatnga, who is an excellent yidaki player, will be helping out with the workshops too!

You will also be greeted by Manikay - traditional Aboriginal song and dance!

- All the money raised from the workshops will go straight to Djalu -
Djalu Gurruwiwi Ceremony

Djalu Gurruwiwi
- Dhuwa
- Galpu
Clan Language
- Dhangu
- Ngaypinya/Gikal
Djalu is a senior Galpu clan lawman who is well known
internationally for his excellent skills as a Yidaki
craftsman and his extensive knowledge as a Yidaki player.
He is known for his powerful and unique Yidaki playing
style that reflects the depth of his culture and
captivates his audience.
Djalu's Yidaki expertise is an extension of the role
handed down to him by his now deceased father, Monyu, a
noted Yolngu leader in his time.  Djalu often speaks of
his time growing up with Monyu at Galiwinku and how,
wherever they went, Monyu always had a Yidaki with him.
Monyu instilled in his son the importance of Yolngu
culture and gave Djalu the responsibility of looking
after the Yidaki for the Galpu clan. This duty is very
important as many clan groups throughout Arnhem Land look
to the  Galpu as one of the primary custodians of the
instrument and linked to the Yidaki are many aspects of
knowledge and cultural practice that are sacred, their
hidden secrets religiously guarded by those in authority.
Prior to his fame, Djalu's obsession with the Yidaki saw
him spend much of his time over several decades crafting
instruments and refining his  technique. The pieces he
made were sold to the local community arts centres and to
non-Indigenous workers and visitors in his community who 
probably did not appreciate the importance of the man and
his work: to them, the Yidaki was merely a novelty, a
keepsake. Nonetheless, in this  way, Djalu was able to win
a small living to feed and to look after the needs of his
immediate and extended family.
In the early 90's Djalu's reputation as the supplier of
Yidaki to the popular band Yothu Yindi saw him rise to
cult status internationally.  The Aboriginal members of
the band recognised Djalu as "number 1" Yidaki  maker and
likewise commissioned him to make instruments for them.
These instruments toured with the band and were also used
in studio recordings. In time as Yothu Yindi's popularity
grew, so did the interest in Yidaki and Djalu.
By the mid-1990s, with the Internet here to stay, Djalu's
status as "Mr didgeridoo"* was cemented. Web forums and
chat sites discussed Djalu's Yidaki and why they were
superior to other didjeridus. His instruments were traded
across the world with dealers and collectors clambering to
buy his best pieces. Budding non-Indigenous didjeridu
makers sought out his knowledge and special skill and
found themselves making good money mimicking his unique
crafting style.
As the idolizing public got to know Djalu, they saw not
only a man possessed with spreading the message of the
Yidaki - and you'll understand what this message is if
you have met Djalu - but also an incredibly generous and
open-hearted human being. In between hosting the throng
of overseas visitors who make their pilgrimage to his
ramshackle house in remote Arnhem Land, Djalu balances
his time between family, community, ceremonial and public
duties. Djalu is also a highly respected elder and a
Christian leader - having completed studies in theology
at Nungalinya College in 1994 in Darwin. He maintains a
high status amongst his Yolngu communities in Miwatj.
In 1997, Djalu took part in one of the most important
exhibitions of  Aboriginal art, the Painters of the
Wagilag Sisters Story 1937-1997.  Staged at the National
Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Djalu opened the
exhibition with Yidaki playing and helped with the
construction of a sacred sand sculpture in the foyer of
the exhibition space.
In 1998, Djalu collaborated with Australian and overseas
artists and printmakers in The Meeting of the Waters
project at the Northern Territory University.
Djalu delivered the first Yidaki Masterclass at the
inaugural Garma Festival in 1999, delighting Australian
and international guests with his challenging tuition and
warm personality. He has delivered all subsequent Yidaki
Masterclasses at Garma from 2000 to 2007
Djalu's first international outing was in 2002 at the
Rripangu Yidaki  Festival - named in honour of his family
run business enterprise - in  the tranquil town of
Eisenbach in Germany's Blackforest. He followed this up
with a visit to the USA and Taiwan in 2003 where his
mastery of the Yidaki and natural charisma etched
unforgettable memories in the minds of those in
attendance. In 2004 Djalu and other members of his family
travelled to the UAE for the Dubai Sister Cities Forum,
and in 2005 he travelled to Japan for World Expo as well
as the Tokyo Yidaki  Festa.
Also in 2003 was the Northern Territory Export Awards held
at the Crown Plaza in Darwin. Djalu accepted first prize
in the Art and Entertainment category on behalf of
Yirrkala art centre.
In 2005 Djalu played for Nelson Mandela in Sydney,
Australia, in a special meeting of 2 great leaders. In
2004 Djalu was featured in the NAIDOC Week special of
George Negus Tonight on ABC television.
* Nicolas Rothwell, The Australian Newspaper,
Overseas tours and performances:
2002 Rripangu Yidaki Festival, Eisenbach, Germany
2003 Joshua Tree Festival, USA
2003 Indigenous Peoples Commission cultural visit, Taipei,
Taiwan 2004 Dubai Sister Cities Forum, Dubai, United Arab
Emirates 2005 World Expo, Aichi, Japan
2005 Yidaki Festa 2005, Okuhida & Tokyo, Japan
Artistic output:
Specialist Yidaki maker and player
Ochres (earth pigments) on bark
Ochres (earth pigments) on Larrakitj (Memorial Poles)
Material culture items
Recorded music
Subjects and themes
Mandji-dak (body painting design)
Clan miny'tji (designs) of saltwater and freshwater areas
Wititj (Olive Python)
Dhonyin (Javan File Snake)
Bol'ngu (the Thunderman)
1990 Spirit in Land, Bark Paintings from Arnhem Land,
National Gallery  of Victoria, Melbourne
1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art,
National Gallery  of Victoria, Melbourne
1994 The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum
and Art Gallery  of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1995 Miny'tji Buku Larrnggay, Paintings from the East,
National Gallery  of Victoria, Melbourne
1995 The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum
and Art Gallery  of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1996 The Thirteenth National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum
and Art  Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1997 Native Title, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1997 The Painters of The Wagilag Sisters Story, 1937-1997,
National  Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1998 The 4th National Indigenous Heritage Art Award, Old
Parliament  House, Canberra
1998 Hollow Logs from Yirrkala, Annandale Galleries,
Sydney 1998 The Meeting of the Waters, an exhibition of
prints and works by  artists from the Australasian Print
Project, 24Hour Art, Darwin 1999-2001 Saltwater Country -
Bark Paintings from Yirrkala, Drill Hall  Gallery, ANU;
John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University; Australian 
National Maritime Museum, Sydney; Museum of Modern Art at
Heide,  Melbourne; The Araluen Cultural Centre, Alice
Springs; Queensland  University of Technology, Brisbane
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
JW Kluge Collection, Virginia, USA
Numerous private collections
1990 Jeanne Arnold, Barbara Philip & Djikundurru
Burarrwanga, Nambara  Art, Nambara Art, Nhulunbuy
1990 Judith Ryan, Spirit in Land, National Gallery of
Victoria, Melbourne 1996 John Cawte, Healers of Arnhem
Land, University of NSW Press, Sydney 1997 Wally Caruana &
Nigel Lendon, The Painters of The Wagilag Sisters  Story
1937 - 1997, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 1999
Saltwater - Yirrkala Bark Paintings of Sea Country, Buku
Larrngay  Mulka Centre & Jennifer Isaacs Publishing,
Neutral Bay 2003 Guan Lim, Dhangal Gurruwiwi & Djalu
Gurruwiwi, Yidaki: Eine  Perspektive aus
Nordost-Arnhemland. In: Das Didgeridoo-Phaenomen. Von  der
Urzeit zur Moderne. Didgeridoobau. Edited by David
Lindner.  Traumzeit-Verlag, Schoenau, Germany
2004 Guan Lim, Dhangal Gurruwiwi & Djalu Gurruwiwi,
Yidaki: A  Perspective from north-east Arnhem Land. In:
The Didgeridoo Phenomenon. 
 From Ancient Times to the Modern Age. Didgeridoobau.
Edited by David  Lindner. Traumzeit-Verlag, Schoenau,
Germany Numerous newspaper articles
2001 Waluka: Gurritjiri Gurriwiwi featuring Djalu
Gurruwiwi. Traditional  music from north-east Arnhem Land,
Volume 2. Yothu Yindi Foundation -  Contemporary Masters
Series 2001 Djalu teaches and plays yidaki (didgeridoo).
Traditional music from  north-east Arnhem Land, Volume 3.
Yothu Yindi Foundation - Contemporary  Masters Series
2003 Djalu Plays and Teaches Yidaki, Volume 2 (Songs and
Stories from  the Galpu Clan). Traditional music from
north-east Arnhem Land, Volume  6. Yothu Yindi Foundation
- Contemporary Masters Series 2003 Diltjimurru: Djalu
Gurruwiwi. ON-Records & Djalu Gurruwiwi
2005 Yidaki Festa 2005 Djalu Gurruwiwi Japan Tour. Dinkum Music
2000 Yidaki. Directed by Michael Butler and produced by
Michelle White  for Discovery Channel

Written by Guan Lim, iDIDJ Australia
Djalu Gurruwiwi Mr Didgeridoo

Booking in advance is essential as each workshop expects to be filled to a maximum number of 15 people.

Payment can be made by bank transfer to Aboriginal Arts Ltd, by cheque, or by Paypal (below).

The venue will be at the London Didgeridoo Shop:
Aboriginal Arts Ltd, 65b West Ham Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4PH

Yidaki Workshops

Following payment, please email us your preferred workshop date info  @

Click here for other UK Didgeridoo Workshops & Events 2009

Aboriginal Arts Ltd is just an 8 minute walk from Stratford train station (served by Central Line, Docklands Light railway, Jubilee Line, Liverpool Street and Richmond overland), simply walk through Stratford Shopping Centre and you'll find us opposite Stratford Police Station. You can contact Aboriginal Arts by telephone or by email below:

(Our gallery is south of Aldworth Road and the indicated arrow on the Map)

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Telephone... 07966 889 676 / 020 8123 1575

info  @

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