South American Grooved 3 Ball Bola Made of Onyx 

This item was sold on 21 May 2007 for $56

Item TB57

Similar artifacts for sale are often found on the South American Artifacts web page. 

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

The bola is a primitive hunting tool that were originally used by the Chinese, Eskimos and South American Indians. Bolas are a throwing device made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs. They are most famously used by the South American gauchos. Gauchos used bolas to capture running cattle or game.

For more detailed information about bolas from different cultures, please visit the flight-toys bola web page.

This bola was purchased in Argentina in the 1950s. The balls are very heavy and appear to be made of Onyx or Granite, or a similar stone material. Two of the balls are larger than a third smaller ball and the cord on the smaller ball is slightly shorter than the cord on the two larger balls. All 3 balls are grooved around the entire circumference, very much like primitive artifact balls that are often found in Uraguay and Argentina. A leather cord is tied tightly around each ball and the cords are made out of a stiff braided leather. This bola is in excellent condition and would made a nice display piece. The style is more like that of a primitive native american design than the bolas used by the South American gauchos. I do not recommend throwing this one. It is very heavy and it will damage anything that it hits. Also, the leather has dried out some over the years and is not as pliable as it was when originally purchased. Cord length = 48 -> 54 cm ; Ball diameters = 5 -> 7 cm ; Weight = 1460 gm

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