Australian Aboriginal Traditional Boomerang

Item TB165              

This Item was Sold on 7 August 2012 for $32

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 probably made in the 1950s or 1960s. It shows signs of the Queensland Aboriginal art seal that was applied to some of the better natural elbows made during that period. The wood is possibly Black Wattle and there is a fiddleback pattern to the grain in the elbow section. Properly made out of a natural elbow with the grain running along the length of the blades. The trailing edge of the lift arm is light color and this is rather attractive with the contrast of the dark colored wood on the remainder of the boomerang. The tips are painted with Aboriginal art. The elbow has a Emu painted around the bend. This is probably not a great returner, but it is thin and properly made. It is probably best to display this one. There is no damage, no dings or cracks, but there are some small stains that were probably present at the time of the original sale. Span = 50 cm ; Weight = 114 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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