Bullroarer-Workshop

The bullroarer, rhombus, or turndun, is an ancient ritual musical instrument and a device historically used for communicating over greatly extended distances. It dates to the Paleolithic period, being found in Ukraine dating from 17,000 BC. Anthropologist Michael Boyd, a Bullroarer expert, documents a number found in Europe, Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. In ancient Greece it was a sacred instrument used in the Dionysian Mysteries and is still used in rituals worldwide.

 

The bullroarer can have many functions: first, it is used for communication over long distances. Secondly, it can be used to make contact with the spirit world and to call the help and protection spirits as well as ancestors. Third it is a music instrument. Each of the participants will build their own instrument, with their own personal sound, which corresponds to their individual inner spectrum. The instrument is carved from a piece of wood. We will make this instrument together and then paint and adorn it.

Here are some examples of bullroarer. We will produce such an instrument ourselves, carve it and, if time is sufficient, paint it ourselves. Further instructions and information will follow soon.

1) Apache Bull Roarer (tzi-ditindi, "sounding wood"); J.W. Powell, Director - Ninth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1887-'88. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.

2) Navajo Bull-Roarer. (tsín dī'nĭ, "groaning stick"); The Franciscan Fathers, Saint Michaels, Arizona. - An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navaho Language. Navajo Indian Mission

3) Gros Ventre Bull Roarer (nakaantan, "making cold"); A.L. Kroeber. - "Ethnology of the Gros Ventre" pp. 145-283 Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History.

4) Bull-Roarers from the British Isles; Alfred C. Haddon - The Study of Man. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons