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You are here:  Home > Education > Profiles > Nigel Barra'kuwuy Yunupingu

Barra'kuwuy Yunupingubarrakuwuy didgeridoo player for saltwater band

European name: Nigel

Other Aboriginal names: Barra'kuwuy

Family name: Yunupingu

Skin name: Gotjuk

Language: Dhuwala'

Tribe: Yolngu

Clan: Gumatj

Community: Galiwin'ku, Arnhem Land, NT

Father: Djungadjunga Yunupingu

Mother: Dhangal #1 Gurruwiwi

Year of birth: 1980

Nigel Barra'kuwuy Yunupingu

Barra'kuwuy is a member of the legendary Saltwater Band hailing from remote Elcho Island, Arnhem Land. He is the didgeridoo player for the band and appears on both Gapu Damurrung' and Djarritjarri CDs. He has travelled with the band to Darwin, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane for major festivals, and recently played before the Queen and audiences at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006.

Asked whom he learnt yidaki from, Barra'kuwuy's answer is that he is self-taught. That he used to practise on a PVC pipe as a young boy and listened to older people play, and from that, picked up the necessary skills and rhythms.

His father is Djungadjunga Yunupingu, a dalkarramirr (ceremonial ritual specialist). His mother is Dhangal #1 Gurruwiwi, who heads Elcho Island's Marthakal Homelands & Resource Centre. Both are strong role models for their community.

nigel barrakwuy didgeridoo player

Barra'kuwuy at the Commonwealth Games 2006 music festival.

barrakuwuy at the 2006 commonwealth games

Barra'kuwuy playing the yidaki for the Saltwater Band at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

video clip of barrakuwuy playing didgeridoo with saltwater band

The Saltwater Band on stage during the 2006 Commonwealth Games festival.

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