Artist: Rhoda Hammer
Song Sticks – 2021
Carved/wood objects – Acrylic on Wood – 19 cm
Waralungku Artists love to make and decorate Song Sticks (or Clap Sticks). This love is a reflection of their strong connection to cultural song lines and songs of their countries. Some of these songs have been performed for thousands of years; and many are still performed in ceremonies today.
These Song Sticks are the result of much hard work and passion – they are made from wood cut and hand-hewn in the bush around Borroloola. Only very specific tree branches are gathered – types that give the desired sound when ‘clapped’ together.
After the gather, these Song Sticks come to the art centre, where artists will carefully sand them smooth and decorate them with glorious designs. Each pair is unique and about as authentic as it gets – a real piece of the Australian outback, crafted into an indigenous instrument which reaches back to ancient times.