Very Large Aboriginal Traditional Boomerang

Item TB79 

This Item Sold on 7 October 2007 for $68

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 is a very large and high quality natural elbow returner made out of a hard and heavy wood, possibly Mulga. It was probably made in the second half of the 20th Century and possibly in Queenland where the Aborigines are known to properly make their boomerangs with functional airfoils. This boomerang has a traditional shape. Excellent condition, but there are natural wood flaws and some of the natural knot material has been lost during the manufacture. This does not detract from the beauty or value. The airfoiling appears to be ambidextrous allowing throwing of both left or right handed, but it has not been tested. It would be better to hang this one on the wall than put it in your throwkit. This boomerang is from the Brother Brian Thomas collection. Span = 52 cm Weight = 158 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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