• 2021.08.11
  • Boomerangs blog July
When you think about the land Down Under you also think of boomerangs and I realized I had never mentioned this curious object ever present in Aussie souvenir shops and aboriginal exhibits.
A boomerang is an object that, after being thrown, returns to its point of origin thanks to its special shape and. Although traditional boomerangs are made of wood, I came to learn that any material is good for building a boomerang: wood, plastic, cardboard, carbon fibre, aluminium and even paper.
Boomerangs can have different shapes actually but they must be cast so that they rotate on their own axis and this is what makes them come back when you throw them. The lift in the air is due to the shape of the blades, which, with a profile similar to that of an airplane's wings, are ‘cutting’ the air as the boomerang spins and travels in it.
The speed at which it rotates on its axis is a constant in each boomerang. This happens because while the boomerang rotates on its own axis and advances, the blade that at that moment rotates in the direction of movement of the boomerang supports more than the one that at that moment rotates in the opposite direction to the advancement.
I have learnt much about boomerangs when I attended a boomerang making workshop a couple of years ago.
I have learnt that boomerangs can have any number of blades. The blades don't have to be the same so it is not true that the boomerang must be symmetrical. There are boomerangs in the shape of V, W, with three blades, blades distributed like the blades of a helicopter, in the shape of a kangaroo, turtle, fish and many other different shapes.
Currently the sporting use of the boomerang is very widespread, there are international championships in which they evaluate the accuracy of the return, the flight time, the number of catches in a given time or the distance that the boomerang covers before coming back.
Not all artifacts commonly called boomerangs go back to the thrower: those that were used for hunting and fighting by the Australian aborigines did not return and their name was not boomerang but kylie.
Returning boomerangs were never used for hunting or warfare but the kylie ceased to be used when other hunting artifacts such as the bow and arrow were introduced.
It seems that it was Captain Cook to first report sightings of boomerangs among the Aboriginal people in 1770 during his explorations.

Nowadays boomerangs are sold everywhere but few are good quality and the best are handmade by aboriginal people who sell them as art pieces.
Art is in fact an essential element of Aboriginal civilization. In general, it is linked to a commemorative story or a special place.
Naturalistic subjects usually depict geometric motifs and it can be found on figurative art pieces such as floor painting, rock or bark painting, not to mention the sculpture of ritual objects and totem poles. The paintings were displayed on the rock, but also on other more precarious supports, such as tree bark, sand or skin and such subjects are now painted on boomerangs to be sold to tourists.
Painting and singing used to be the only means for Aboriginal people to perpetuate legacy and culture though some paintings were used to perform initiation rites and so this tradition began.
Pointillism is the most common technique of Aboriginal painting including decorating boomerangs. It consists in making a succession of very narrow points that do not mix. This technique is found in some cave paintings and on the rock flooring of Aboriginal sites, which are/were used during ritual meetings.



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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