Australian Aboriginal Traditional Boomerang

Item TB159   

This Item was Sold on 7 December 2008 for $53

Similar artifacts for sale are often found on the Aboriginal Boomerangs web page. 

Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices.

This returning style Australian Aboriginal boomerang was acquired in New Caledonia by an American Serviceman during World War II making this boomerang more than 60 years old. It is made out of an attractive piece of dark hardwood and is stamped on the reverse with " Made in Australia ". The tips are squared off at the ends instead of rounded and this is unusual for tourist style boomerangs. The upper surface has Aboriginal art with an emu, serpent and goanna. There are a couple of white ochre stains near the serpent head. These can be sanded off or just left as is. This is probably not a good returner, so it would be best displayed on the wall. There is no damage, no dings or cracks. Except for natural aging, it is in excellent condition. Span = 48 cm ; Weight = 102 gm

Australian Aborigines are well known for making boomerangs. The majority of the Aborigines had the technology to make throwsticks, or non-returning boomerangs. Only a small percentage of the tribal groups knew how to make true returners and most of these came from the eastern coastal regions of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. During the past century, the majority of the Aborigines came out of the bush and were somewhat assimilated into the European man's culture. Many Aborigines began making returning style boomerangs to sell to tourists. The earliest ones were well made out of natural timber and with the grain following the curvature of the boomerang. Today, most hardwood boomerang are cut out of a large board and the grain is usually straight and running parallel to a line spanning the tips of the blades. Boomerangs that are made with the grain following the contour of the blades are much stronger and more valuable. In addition, some boomerangs have good airfoiling. The majority do not. Most "tourist boomerangs" have painted upper surfaces that display Australian animals and decorative lines and/or geometric patterns. Most pre-contact returners have no artwork or the artwork is simple and scratched into the surface. It is easy to tell the tourist boomerang from the valuable ethnographic artifact. However, tourist boomerangs that are made properly with the grain running along the contour and with good airfoiling and art work do have good collectable value, especially if they are made by a famous Aboriginal artists, like Bill Onus or Joe Timbery.

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