‘Listen To My Drum’: The Musical and Socio-Cultural Importance of Torres Strait Islander Warup/Buruburu Drums in Australia
This chapter illustrates two main points:
1) warup/buruburu drums have long been a key component of Torres Strait Islander (henceforth Islander) music and dance but, as they migrate
with diasporic Islanders, they also carry with them profound socio-cultural and multi-cultural
meanings and engender innovative artistry in decoration, performance and maintenance;
2) Islander drums are the key musical marker of Islander identity, the sonic component of their
identity narrative. After providing some pertinent historical, social, cultural, geopolitical and regulatory background, this research explores, via interviews, description and analysis, how
Torres Strait Islander drums were and are currently sourced, decorated and repaired as they are incorporated into the socio-cultural life of Islander families and individuals in the Torres Strait region and also on the Australian Mainland.