This Item was Sold on 16 November
2012 for $34
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 returning style Australian Aboriginal boomerang was made in the 1960s or 1970s. Al Gerhards brought this boomerang back from Australia after the First Aussie/USA Challenge Match in 1981. This boomerang is from Al's personal collection. The wood is probably Acacia from Queensland.. This boomerang is properly made out of a natural elbow with the grain running along the length of the blades. Metal file marks are visible on the flat lower surface. The entire upper surface is painted with Aboriginal art that includes a serpent on both blades. There is a high gloss varnish coating on both surfaces. It is not a true returner because the airfoils are neutral. It would be best to display this boomerang, rather than to throw it. There is no damage.
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.