- Up until 40 yrs ago the Boomerang was known in this country (with the exception of the Hopi Indians) as a foreign and aboriginal devise.
Then, in 1969, Ben Ruhe, an American who had traveled abroad to Australia to see and meet with Aboriginal Boomerang throwers, brought back his knowledge and began offering making and throwing workshops at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
10 yrs later in 1979 the United States Boomerang Association was formed as a natural evolution from the much popular workshops offered by Mr.Ruhe and has since taking of nation wide with individual states offering leagues for interested throw
Although universally assumed, the boomerang is not exclusively native to the Australian Aborigines. It has also been found in; South India, (they use a boomerang-shaped weapon made of ivory and steel which can be made to return in the direction of the thrower) Egypt, (the Famed King Tut of Egypt had an extensive collection of “flying machines” from over 2000 yrs ago) Northwest Africa and Arizona (the native Hopi tribe used a boomerang similar to the Australian Aborigines for hunting).Although historians are not certain of the origin of the 1st returning boomerang, it’s theorized that it evolved from the Throw stick. Most likely it was discovered by accident by an early hunter trying to fine tune his throw stick (the bevel cuts on top and bottom resemble that of the returning boomerang with less detail to the leader and trailing edges as well as have a greater spanned angle in the Dingle and Lifter arms).
- The modern boomerang is usually associated with Australian Aborigines because it has been kept in its ultimate state of achievement by the natives. In fact the Aborigines of Australia are one of the few cultures never to use bow and arrow in hunting, thus creating a greater emphasis on the Throw Stick and Boomerang.
Some non-returning boomerangs which were used before the more modern “returning one” (also called Throw sticks) have been dated as far back as 10, 000 yrs in Australia by the natives. These sticks were used primarily for hunting and were known to be thrown in excess of 100 yds!
The Boomerang itself was also used later as a decoy rather than an actual weapon. One might “bait” a flock of unsuspecting birds that are typically drawn to its flight, and then use the throw stick to take down pray. The boomerang will not return once an object has been hit.
Aboriginal Mythology (quoted from library.thinkquest.org)
In times past, people became aware that a light was necessary at night time as it was difficult to walk around or hunt.A tribe member had a thought: Make a boomerang that shined, and toss it high into the sky. The boomerang would give off light at night to enable people and animals to see at night.A giant boomerang was made. Tribes men attempted to throw it high into the sky. Their efforts were in vain. They weren’t able to throw it high enough.When a lean, elderly, feeble man asked if he could try he was laughed at. An elder of the tribe a kind, wise man said he should be allowed to try.The old man threw the boomerang. Soaring it went higher and higher into the sky. Now shining down on the people it is the moon.The shape of the boomerang can still be seen in the new Moon every month.
- Many have stories of a female Sun who warmed the land, and a male Moon who was once a young slim man (the waxing crescent Moon), but grew fat and lazy (the full Moon). But then he broke the law, and was attacked by his people, resulting in his death (the New Moon). After remaining dead for 3 days, he rose again to repeat the cycle, and continues doing so till this day. The Kuwema people in the Northern Territory say that he grows fat at each full moon by devouring the spirits of those who disobey the tribal law.(quoted from en.wikipedia.org)