By Gary Wonning – 2010
One of the more unique and interesting tools found in the outback of Australia, boomerangs served a very useful purpose.
There are many different sizes, types and shapes, depending on the culture, geographic location and need of the hunter. The type of prey would also determine what kind of weapon would be needed.
Boomerangs were used to kill everything from birds to large animals such as kangaroos. The more popular design of boomerang, the one most often seen in movies was the most aerodynamic and looks like the wing of an aircraft. It was designed to primarily kill birds while in flight. It was fashioned so it would return to the person who threw it, thus eliminating the need to chase after it. Also many times the birds would be flying over water, so if the target was missed and the boomerang didn’t return,it eliminated the need for the hunter to swim in crocodile infested waters in order to retrieve his favorite weapon.
True, if the bird was killed or wounded,(and since they didn’t have a bird dog), the hunter would have to brave the elements to retrieve his prey, but at least there was a reward for risking his life.
The larger boomerangs were designed to kill larger land animals, thus they resembled a club, They didn’t come back, as they traveled along the ground and stopped only when coming in contact with the animal in question, or struck some other object, such as a rock or tree.
The aborigines were quite professional in this respect, not only in designing, but using the boomerang. The target in question was more often struck and killed than not. Many boomerangs had markings indicating the tribe or even the person to whom the boomerang belonged, thus making it easier to recover if there was a question of ownership.
Although the boomerang is thought to be a product of the natives of Australia, they have actually been found in such places as Poland, Egypt, and among artifacts of Native American Navajo Indians. Dating back over 10,000 years, the boomerang has been a needed and useful tool for the Australian Aborigine during much of their existence.
Today, the Aborigines are losing many of the talents they once had, due to modernization these talents aren’t in as much demand. Corroborees, or songfests are often held where many of the old ways and dances are practiced, but many of the customs of the aborigines are being lost forever, at the songfests, many times white Europeans win the boomerang throwing and other once native competitions.
Gary has been a photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and event photography. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean, and having studied Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life, photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different cultures!
To view more of his articles visit [http://www.travelnsnap.com].
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