Boomerangs and Throwing Sticks


One of the popular icons of Australia, the “boomerange” is a throwing weapon with a curved shape used for hunting, battle, or sport. Most commonly made of wood or bone, some modern boomerangs are made of plastic or light metal in a variety of sizes and weights though usually ranging from 10-180 centimeters. Sometimes are designed with aboriginal artwork. It is designed to travel in a ellipical path and return to its thrower if thrown properly. While Australia is credited with their creation, there is evidence they were used by the Indigenous of California and Arizona, southern India, and the Ancient Egyptians as hunting weapons. While most Australian Aborigine’s used them commonly for hunting, sometimes there were not thrown at all and utilized in hand-to-hand combat. Some historical evidence suggest they were also used to start fires, as decoys for waterfowl, as recreational toys, battle clubs, and percussive musical instruments. Evidence of boomerangs in Australia date to over 10,000 B.P. (Before Present), a boomerang made of mammoth’s tusk was found in Poland dating to over 30,000 BP, and King Tutankhamen of Egypt had a collection of boomerangs over 3,000 years old today. When, where, or how it was created is unknown, but believed to have started as a flattened throwing stick.

Egyptian Boomerangs on display at the Edinburgh National Museum of Scotland:

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