Australian Aboriginal Traditional Boomerang

Item TB166                  

This Item was Sold on 14 September 2012 for $30

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 having had 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 leading edge of the dingle arm is a light color and this is rather attractive in contrast with the dark colored wood on the remainder of the boomerang. The tips are painted with Aboriginal art. The elbow has a kangaroo painted across the bend. This is probably not a great returner, but it is properly made. It would be best to display this one. The only flaw is a natural knot that terminates near the tip of the lift arm and there is a small amount of wood that is missing where the knot would be. This flaw does not detract from the natural beauty of this piece. Span = 54 cm ; Weight = 188 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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