It’s Boomerang…or is it?

Photo Credit: Erin Fox

Histories pertaining to the boomerang for this report are derived from the Boomerang Association of Australia.

On a break from deployment, before we started dating my husband took a trip to Australia and brought back several boomerangs. We now display them ornamentally around the house. These curiously “L” shaped objects served a greater purpose during an early time in history, hunting and fighting.

According to the Boomerang Association of Australia the word boomerang wasn’t the universally used term for the object. Aborigines in the Moreton Bay area of Australia called it a “birgan” while others in the north-western portions of New South Wales referred to it as a “barragadan.” Later in 1822 the boomerang was reordered under it’s common term and used by the Turuwal people in Port Jackson and pronounced as ‘bou-mar-rang.’

The throwing sticks come in two varies returning and non-returning. It’s a common mistake to refer to the non-returning throwing stick as boomerang. Only when the device returns after it is thrown can it be called a Boomerang.

According to the The Australian Museum in Sidney, the returning boomerang is able to move quickly due to its forward movement and rotation. The Museums website explains that “the boomerang is hurled into the air almost vertically. It files roughly parallel to the ground as the flight path curves. Soon as it lies down before spinning upwards, all the time still turning left.” Tilting the devise as its thrown allows it to fly in the horizontal positions as we see in common depictions of the device.

Photo Credit: Erin Fox

The other day my huband grabbed the boomerang and asked me, “Do you want to se if these things really work?” Despritaly needing a study break I agreed. I grabbed my husband’s two boomerangs, one from our dresser and the other from a shadow box display in our living room. I opened our sliding glass door and marched into the center of our walled in backyard. I quickly assessed the area for any objects that might be damaged through my experiment. I gently laid the boomerang on the grass and walked over to our grill and moved it behind one our patios support pillars.

That’s when I took my image.

After moving the grill, I positioned myself to toss the larger throwing stick. I put some force into my toss and it watched the ornately decorated device spin from my fingers…then promptly fall to the ground flat. I tried again, this time putting more power behind my through and again it crashed forcefully into the grass. I grew frustrated. I was following the Australian Museums instructions but my boomerang wasn’t returning.

Photo Credit: Erin Fox

I put the larger boomerang on our porch table and tried the smaller boomerang. It was at this point my husband lost intrest and went inside. However, I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I positioned myself again for a nearly vertical toss but the wind flipped the device and pushed it into a tree. I then walked to the far corner of our yard and with all my strength tossed the boomerang. It took off flying straight forward and then rested finally on the ground.

It is hard to say if our throwing sticks are true boomerangs. An individual more experienced with throwing sticks might have yielded different results. Regardless of the results, the process was fun and I might even do it again some time.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Erin Vogel-Fox’s story.