So you are about to buy a yiḏaki from MT-Yidaki.com I carefully select my instruments and describe them as accurate as possible. How ever there are some things that we have to agree on before you place your official order.
Due to the raw nature of these Yolŋu yiḏaki, I am unable to offer returns and refunds. Instruments are described as best as possible. Due to the nature of the product, I can not offer lifetime guarantees. These yidaki were very recently living trees, and wood will shift. Cracks can and do occur! Your yiḏaki was a living tree a short while ago, and has now travelled a long way. Most yiḏaki handle this well and have no problems for many many years. But problems can arise, so I am providing some guidelines below. I guarantee safe arrival. Please let me know immediately, before you open the box, if the box and instrument have been damaged in transit, if there is any problem I must have lodged any relevant insurance claim with photographic evidence within 7 days of your receiving the package.
When you first get it:
Examine the Package - If there's any damage to the package, make a note of it and take a photo before opening it! If your yiḏaki was damaged by a shipping company, I need to know as soon as possible and have photographic evidence. Examine the Instrument - Open the package and inspect for damage. If there are any problems before you begin using the instrument, I have to know as soon as possible. If it is damage caused by the shipping company, it is very difficult to claim insurance for an item if I don't know right away and have evidence.
Don’t over play:
Go ahead and play your new yiḏaki and have fun, but not too much fun! Your yiḏaki has just come a long way from a very different climate, travelling at high altitude in a dry, freezing cold cargo hold for much of the way. It will be sensitive to change. If you play it a lot, it will get very warm and wet, and then have to cool down and dry off when you are finished, perhaps very quickly, depending on where you live. This can lead to cracking in a yiḏaki that has yet to acclimate to a new environment. I recommend exercising incredible restraint - try to keep your playing to just 5-10 minutes per day on your new yiḏaki for the first week or so. After that, the wood should be a bit more settled. Build up your playing time from there, but know that it could be months before the wood has dried to match the environment. Beware of exposing it to sudden changes of temperature or moisture.
Sealing the Instrument:
There is much debate about the pros and cons of sealing instruments with PVA glue, epoxy, or even natural oils. The vast majority of the yiḏaki I sell are coated on the outside and just a short distance in the ends with PVA wood glue, often thinned with water, before and in cases after painting. In most cases this is all that is necessary for a yiḏaki to last a very long time. There are however many options that you can find on the internet. My personal recommendation is not to do anything to the inside of the yidaki as it will affect the acoustics. If you've chosen a yiḏaki from Northeast Arnhem Land, chances are you want the natural sound of the plain wood. Try it for a while. If you find you need more protection in your environment, do what you will. Be careful with the artwork on instruments - if you have purchased one from me with natural colours of ochre and clay, you will need to carefully choose what you do to the outside of the yiḏaki.
While you may want a perfect yidaki with no chance of anything ever going wrong, the fact is these are wood that were once living trees, and they will move and adjust to environments. They can also be damaged. So cracks can occur. Rather than run away and cry as you may first feel like doing, I recommend you gain the confidence to fix these issues. It's worthwhile and actually will help you feel closer with your yidaki! You also won't have to fear cracks so much any more after you know how easy it is to fix them. That should do it for the basics. This may sound like a lot of headache to deal with, but you'll be much better off if you're well-informed and able to cope with any problems that arise. If you have any other questions or concerns, let me know. Now get away from your computer and enjoy your yiḏaki!
If you're not satisfied with your purchase, please return it to us in unused, as new, condition within 7 days for a full refund of the cost price. Postage is non refundable.
Michiel Teijgeler 2020