Iron Singa or Birugundi Boomerang from Southern India

Item TB423

The price of this item will be reduced each week until it is sold. The current price is listed on the Oceanic Artifacts link. Instructions for ordering can be found on the How to Order web page.

This unusual throwing implement is a Tamil Valari or Birudungi Iron War Boomerang. This example was made out of low grade iron and the surfaces are heavily oxidized, but fully intact and functional. The more common steel form is called the Singa. The form of the Tamil boomerang is of very ancient origin, used in warfare and hunting. The term boomerang which has stuck amongst collectors is purhaps misleading as it does not return to the thrower. All surviving examples share several features in common, the ball or egg shaped knob for gripping, flattened deeply curved body, and a squared flaring end. It was made by the Kallars/Kallan and Maravans (castes / tribes of the Tamil people in South India). These boomerangs were usually made out of wood, ivory or metal. The local name for this type of boomerang is "valai tadi" / "valari tadi" / "vellari thadi" / "vallari thadi" all of which mean "bent stick". It is often a tradition that very fine Birugundi boomerangs were exchanged between brides and bridegrooms.

Span = 35 cm ; Weight = 238 gm

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