Originally Posted by prempex
where abouts in australia was the wood from?
Thanks for your interest.
Cooktown ironwood grows only one place in the world: Queensland, Australia, which is the little horn that sticks up from the north and almost touches Indonesia (actually the area is about the size of Texas).
Obtaining ironwood is very difficult as the area is primarily wild (see www.spritdrums.com
for an explanation). The area is very dry so the wood grows slowly and is so dense it sinks in water. The tree from which my set was taken was about 300 years old. So far, only about a dozen Spirit kits have been made, although many djembes, congas and snares have been made. They purchase the logs from a couple of Crocodile Dundee-type loggers.
The Australian government encourages timber cutting in the area and has very stringent environmental laws. Most of the ironwood gets turned into fence posts and railroad ties and decks and a tiny bit gets turned into very high-value items like musical instruments (it is also prized for flutes and guitars) and sculptures. Ironwood leaves and suckers are extremely poisonous to cattle and must be cleared from areas where ranching is permitted.
Spirit drum makers do all their manufacture locally, using local labor and fabrication for their hardware, and the money for the kit directly supports their families and local merchants. So this kit was made in a socially sustainable way, not just an environmentally sustainable way.