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About Australia
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BOOMERANGS

Boomerangs
Photograph of Australian-Aboriginal Boomerangs

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WHAT IS A BOOMERANG?
A Boomerang is a wooden device that is thrown, primarily for the purposes of hunting (see picture above). It is a popular misconception that all boomerangs, when thrown, return to you. However the original boomerangs used by Aboriginies in Australia were not the returning kind. The original Boomerangs ranged from 3 to 6 feet long, weighed between 2 and 4 pounds, and flew straight, killing any prey in their paths! The oldest Boomerangs discovered in Australia are from a period between 8000 and 10000 years ago.



RETURNING BOOMERANGS
As the name suggests, a returning Boomerang is one that comes back to you when you throw it. These were used for hunting smaller creatures such as birds, but more so for sport. This type of Boomerang has a simple curved shape (see picture above), is much lighter than a non-returning Boomerang, and is generally no larger than 18 inches across. Believe it or not, returning Boomerangs were only developed in the last 200 years!



HOW BOOMERANGS WERE TYPICALLY USED?
The returning Boomerang was more of a strategic hunting tool than the non-returning type. One strategy was to throw the Boomerang above a flock of birds, forcing them to fly low enough to be caught. Another strategy was to throw the Boomerang at the same time as imitating the sound of a hawk, fooling the birds and forcing them into a net that was strung between two trees. More commonly however, returning Boomerangs were used in sport, and to display one's skill. Ironically, this age old device is making a comeback into modern sport! "Boomeranging" is becoming popular worldwide and sprouting Boomerang associations, clubs, and competitions everywhere from Germany to Australia to Japan!



HOW TO THROW A BOOMERANG
(1) Hold one end of the Boomerang with the flat side to your palm, and the other end facing the direction in which you will throw it. Tilt off vertical as shown, typically about 20. tilt roughly 20 off vertical throw 50 right of wind
(2) Face directly into the wind, then turn 50 to the right of the wind. Raise the Boomerang above your right shoulder and aim towards the sky, about 30 above horizontal.

(3) Release with a spinning motion as the Boomerang leaves your hand.
How to throw a Boomerang

Pictures on this page are by Cheslye Larson, from Boomerang: How to throw, catch, and make it by Benjamin Ruhe and Eric Darnell, 1985


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www.about-australia-shop.com
About Australia
Australian Foods, Gifts and Souvenirs
401 Isom Rd, Suite 500, San Antonio, Texas, 78216, USA
Phone 210-299-1077, Fax 210-541-6755
www.about-australia-shop.com