Dance, ritual, ceremony and singing are an integral part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life and have evolved and been practiced for thousands of years.
Many traditional festivals, especially in northern Australia, showcase all elements of these dynamic and visually spectacular elements of cultural practices and are now openly shared with visitors.
A number of the major capital city festivals now incorporate Aboriginal performance as key elements to share the experience of these timeless cultural traditions with an ever wider audience.
The Didgeridoo is often incorporated as a signature instrument. Originating in tropical northern Australia, especially in Arnhem Land, it is known as the Yidaki and made from the termite hollowed stems of the Woolybutt Eucalyptus tree. After being carefully selected and cleaned out the mouth piece is lined with native bees wax and although traditionally it was only sparsely decorated, toady they are often elaborately painted with more decorative designs.
It has become a world instrument with festivals dedicated to it around the globe.
Modern performance companies like the Bangarra Dance Theatre are renowned for their scintillating productions melding contemporary dance with ancient stories and traditions.
In the contemporary music scene Aboriginal groups and performers continuously excel with the pioneers like Warumpi Band, Coloured Stone and Yothu Yindi leading the way.
Today the haunting solos of blind Yolgnu singer/guitarist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu have entranced the world and a host of other top quality performers can be seen regularly Australia wide.