birdhead700x250How much do you know about the didgeridoo and Australian Indigenous cultures? Test yourself with these 40 questions.

1. The Indigenous population of Australia prior to European settlement is generally estimated to be around:
a. 3000
b. 30,000
c. 300,000
d. 3,000,000

2. At the time of European settlement, there were approximately how many distinct Indigenous languages spoken in Australia?
a. 2
b. 20
c. 200
d. 2000

3. Before European settlement of Australia, the Indigenous people lived in harmony with the land, were peaceful nomadic hunter-gatherers who never warred against each other, and enjoyed a life free of diseases.
True or False

4. ATSIS, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, was established in 1 July 2003 out of a perceived need for s…….o………..p………………… within ATSIC, the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander C………………….. .

5. Generally speaking, compared to the average Australia, the life expectancy of an Indigenous Australian today is (mark all correct answers):
a. higher due to the benefits of a traditional lifestyle including a healthier diet based on ‘bush foods’, higher levels of activity and exercise, and lower exposure to electromagnetic radiation frequently encountered in the suburban environment
b. higher because Western medicine has eradicated many diseases endemic to Indigenous populations
c. 20 years higher due to the special services and priviledges granted by the Australian Government for Indigenous people
d. 20 years lower due to complicating factors including dispossession, lower socio-economic status and living conditions sometimes resembling Third World countries
  e. about the same

6. Which of the following statements about the Aboriginal flag are false (mark all that apply)?

a. It has the colours green and gold
b. It has the colours black, white, yellow and red
c. It is different to the flag used by Torres Strait Islander peoples
d. It was designed by Mr Harold Thomas
e. It was proclaimed a “Flag of Australia” in 1995 by the Australian Government

7. Olympic swimming champion and multiple World record holder, Ian Thorpe (complete sentence and mark all correct answers):

a. won five gold medals in his first Olympic Games
b. is determined to discover talented Aboriginal swimmers in the Northern Territory
c. visited Katherine, Northern Territory, in April 2003
d. has donated AUD140,000 to the Sunshine Health Service to eliminate harmful bacteria from swimming pools in Aboriginal communities
e. has established a charity called Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth

8. Who was Australian of the Year in 1978?

a. Galarrwuy Yunupingu
b. Noel Pearson
c. Djalu Gurruwiwi
d. Mandawuy Yunupingu

9. Vegemite is a commercial food product derived from Aboriginal knowledge of yeast and fermentation processes.
True or False?

10. Who was the Australian Federal Government’s first Minister for Aboriginal Affairs ………………………………………..

11. David Gulpilil is best known as:

a. an actor
b. a painter
c. a writer
d. a footballer

12. The Yolngu cultural bloc is in:
a. the Kimberley, Western Australia
b. north-east Arnhem Land, Northern Territory
c. Goulburn Island, Northern Territory
d. none of the above

13. Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land (mark all correct answers):

a. is Government property
b. is private property owned under special freehold title
c. is Aboriginal land
d. is inalienable land
e. can be bought but cannot be forfeited
f. can be leased to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal interests

14. The celebrated ethnomusicologist Alice Marshall Moyle was born in which country?

a. New Zealand
b. Australia
c. Ireland
d. Papua New Guinea
e. South Africa

15. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIAS) was established in which year?

a. 1951
b. 1961
c. 1971
d. 1981

16. Which of these four is least like the other three? 
a. Bambusa arnhemica
b. Eucalyptus tetradonta
c. Pandanus spiralis
d. Melaleuca cajuputi

17. The NLC, an Aboriginal organisation, is an abbreviation of?

a. Northern Lands Council
b. Northern Landcare Council
c. Northern Language Council
d. none of the above

18. The NLC’s jurisdiction includes which of the following areas?

a. Papunya
b. Maningrida
c. Bathurst Island
d. Groote Eylandt
e. Mulgurram outstation

19. According to a recent paper by Prof. Jon Altman, the ‘fourth pillar’ for sustainability in Indigenous arts is: 

a. policy
b. governance
c. protection of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property
d. ecological sustainability
e. none of the above

20. A national conference on Australian Indigenous arts in 2002, held in Adelaide, recommended, amongst other things, stronger protection of Indigenous Intellectual and Cultural Property. With regards to the didgeridoo, the conference report stressed the urgency in protecting the didgeridoo because (mark all correct answers):

a. non-Aboriginal people are making and selling the instrument for profit
b. Aboriginal people without the didgeridoo as part of their cultural tradition are making and selling the instrument for profit
c. a German company is trying to copyright the instrument under German copyright laws
d. commercial demand is having an impact on the didgeridoo’s cultural integrity
e. commercial demand is having an impact on the environment

21. Which of the following four is least like the other three?

a. Wanambi
b. Niwuda
c. Raymangirr
d. Marrangu

22. A non-Aboriginal person adopted into Aboriginal culture has all the rights and priviledges of an Aboriginal person including ownership of land, ceremony, and sacred designs.
True or False?

23. Yolngu didgeridoo makers spend a considerable amount of time and effort in tuning their instruments which accounts for the acoustic superiority of their work.
True or False?

24. A didgeridoo player not born into Yolngu culture will find it difficult to play in the traditional styles and techniques of the Yolngu because (mark all correct answers):
a. physiological and anatomical differences preclude non-Aboriginal players from executing certain techniques
b. mastery of Yolngu spoken language is required to play the didgeridoo in a traditional manner
c. many years of practice are needed to learn traditional techniques
d. Yolngu players are reluctant to teach outsiders their special techniques and skills

25. The didgeridoo is a male-oriented instrument in Aboriginal society because (mark all correct answers):
a. the didgeridoo is a sacred-secret object that belongs to the domain of initiated men
b. women have an equivalent instrument that goes under a different name
c. women will go blind and deaf if they see, hear or play it
d. strong gender divisions mean that men’s and women’s roles are different
e. none of the above

26. In a song by George Rrurrambu, of Warumpi Band fame, ‘Djutarra’ is:
a. tobacco introduced to Aboriginal people by the Macassans
b. a barge
c. an island
d. a person he misses

27. Which of the following sets consist of individuals who have both played yidaki in one or more tracks in the Yothu Yindi band’s albums (mark all correct answers)? :
a. Milkayngu Mununggurr, Makuma Yunupingu
b. Gurrumul Yunupingu, Gapanbulu Yunupingu
c. Mandawuy Yunupingu, Djalu Gurruwiwi
d. Rrawun Maymuru, Yomunu Yunupingu
e. Witiyana Marika, Mangatjay Yunupingu

28. Which of these four is least like the other three?
a. Monuk
b. Damurrung
c. Guyingarr
d. Raypiny

29. Complete the following verb sequence:
bathan, bathul, bathar ,………………

30. Complete the following sentence:
Luku is to dhapathung as liya is to ……

31. ‘Manymak’, in the Yolngu language, can mean (mark all correct answers):
a. good
b. hello
c. please
d. numerous
e. thank you

32. What are two of the principles driving Djalu’s Rripangu Yirdaki enterprise?
……………………… & …………………………….

33. In north-east Arnhem Land, one effect of the moiety division is that (mark all correct answers) :
a. Dhuwa didgeridoo makers only cut Dhuwa trees on Dhuwa lands
b. Yirritja didgeridoo makers only cut Yirritja trees on Yirritja lands
c. a didgeridoo made from a Dhuwa tree can only be used in a Dhuwa ceremony
d. a didgeridoo made from a Yirritja tree can only be used in a Yirritja ceremony
e. none of the above

34. With regards to the ‘skin’ or malk system in north-east Arnhem Land, which of the following statements are false (mark all that apply):
a. In theory and in practice, Balang’ can only marry Ngarritjan and Bulanydjan, and not any other ‘skin’
b. If my biological father is Gamarrang, I must be either Burralang, Galigali, Balang or Bilinydjan
c. If my biological mother is Gamanydjan, I must be either Bulany or Bulanydjan
d. Gela is a colloquial term for Burralang and Galigali
e. The ‘skin’ system has been used by Yolngu peope for centuries if not longer to organise society and to regulate behaviour

35. Ngapipi (mother’s brother) can also be called:
g…………………. , m……………………. and ng……………………..

36. Robert Mirabal, acclaimed Native American musician, performed with which Australian Indigenous group in Santa Fe in 1999?

37. What is the Yolngu term for describing the brother-sister taboo relationship? ……………………

38. Learning the didgeridoo ‘mouth sounds’ of traditional rhythms will allow a didgeridoo player to easily play traditional rhythms.
True or False

39. String figures are made in parts of the Northern Territory, predominantly by women. The following string figure, recorded in Yirrkala, represents what?

40. An eccentric entrepreneur and keen photographer travelled through Arnhem Land on a bicycle in the early part of the 20th century. What was his name?