• Artwork:Music Sticks
  • Artist:Warlukurlangu Artists
Related Artefacts

Music Sticksby Warlukurlangu Artists

Clap sticks or music sticks are used in traditional ceremonial practices by Aboriginal people. They assist in maintaining the rhythm of the chanting that is present during ceremonies. Music Sticks are an ancestral instrument that may traditionally accompany the didgeridoo; they are a type of drumstick or percussion mallet. Unlike drumsticks, which are generally used to strike a drum, clap sticks are intended for striking one stick on another.

Music sticks are often made of Mulga wood and decorated with paint or have designs burnt into the wood using a hot wire to create patterns and symbols which tell the story of the Dreamtime.

This particular set of Music sticks was created by the artists of Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu. 

  • Artist:Warlukurlangu Artists
  • Title:Music Sticks
  • ID:14072571
  • Medium:Mulga Wood
  • Size:30 x cm
  • Region:Yuendumu, Central Australia


Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu is an art centre run from Yuendumu Community approximately 290km from Alice Springs in Central Australia. It was developed in 1985 and is one of the longest running Aboriginal owned art centres in Central Australia. 

The art centre features the artwork and craft of anyone within the two Indigenous communities of Yuendumu and Nyirripi. Anyone who does engage is referred to as an ‘artist’ whether they have just started painting or have been painting for many years.

Artists actively participate in the ongoing development of the organisation. The management of the art centre works hard to create a space where the artists feel safe, comfortable and happy to come together to paint and share their knowledge. There are over 600 artists currently participating. Some come every day and some may do only one or two paintings a year.

People also come from other nearby outlying communities, Yuelumu, Laramba, Willowra and Alice Springs to sell craft items through the centre. If people from any of these communities are in Yuendumu visiting family they are also welcome to participate in the activities of the art centre.


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Aboriginal word glossary