From the Stone Age to Today
A brief history of boomerang origins
Aerodynamic throwsticks were developed by Stone Age civilizations in different parts of the world thousands of years ago. The Australian aborigines are the best known; however, these special hunting weapons were also developed in other areas including ancient Egypt, the American Southwest, and Eastern Europe. While there are many stories of how the returning boomerang came to be (many rooted in myth and misinterpretation), most anthropologists agree that it originated from the throwstick.
The throwstick, called a kylie by the native Australians and a rabbit stick by the Hopi people of pre-European America, was a heavy, non-returning aerodynamic weapon thrown horizontally to kill or stun prey. At some point (perhaps by accident) the stick became more curved and refined (and much lighter) so that, when thrown vertically, it would return to the thrower. These true boomerangs were probably only used for fun and games, not as weapons.
Today’s modern boomerangs are sports equipment and should be treated with the same respect as a baseball. Baseballs and boomerangs both can be dangerous when used carelessly. When used properly, they are safe and fun.