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20th C. Aboriginal Etched Wood Boomerang w/ Animals

Oceania, Australia, Aboriginal peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A lengthy boomerang intended for hunting, hand-carved from gorgeous hardwood and etched with various animals - kangaroo, emu, and a few other that are less distinguishable. The gentle curve of this iconic airfoil weapon allows it to be aimed and thrown with ease, and its stone-smoothed surface facilitates a smooth flight. Incised linear, ovoid, and helix-form motifs decorate the obverse face, perhaps reflecting the hunter's personal taste. The use of hunting boomerangs was described by the explorer Francis Barrallier in 1802, when he wrote that indigenous people throw it, "making it revolve on itself, and with such a velocity that one cannot see it … only the whizzing of it is heard." Colored with a natural red ochre pigment, this is a beautiful example replete with fine craftsmanship. Size: 25" W x 3.65" H (63.5 cm x 9.3 cm)

Condition: Very light scratching on surface, especially long the thinner edge. Two old adhesive marks on the undecorated back surface. Motifs are very nicely preserved.

Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection

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