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Aboriginal clapsticks


Clapsticks are an Aboriginal musical instrument that are used to provide rhythm.

They are usually two sticks which are struck against one another. They come in a range of sizes and can either be plain or decorated.

Cultural notes

Clapsticks are also known as bimli or bimla in some areas.

They can be used used by both men and women and are found in all Aboriginal Australian communities. They are often used during ceremonies.

As they provide rhythm and not a tune, they are usually used to accompany other instruments, such as the didgeridoo or during vocal chants.

They may also be used as digging tools.

Suggested activities

  • Make your own clapsticks using either found materials or craft materials (see External Links for ideas).
  • Incorporate Aboriginal music and dance in your program.
  • Use alongside other instruments such as the didgeridoo, emu caller and drums (see Related Items for more info).

External Links

Related items in our catalogue

The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.