Boomerang (mid 19th century)
A Strong Arm And A Good Eye - Weapons and Tools
My dad made beautiful big boomerangs. You could hear them whistling in the sky when they were thrown. Once you get them whistling, you know you are a boomerang maker. The whistling effect is important to hunters. The swans or the ducks won’t lift off the lagoon because the boomerangs look like hawks, whistling and circling overhead. Say we are hunting swans and ducks at a small lagoon, I throw my boomerang and it whistles over the birds. Mine would be almost ready to return and you throw yours and then, shortly after, a third hunter throws. Mine is now back so I throw it again and we keep going like that. They make a flapping noise, like a bird flapping its wings or, when they whistle, it is like a hawk diving. Have you ever seen a hawk diving on its prey? It really makes a beautiful sight. It is awesome. If a bird lifts off the water the hawk picks them up, so our boomerangs keep them on the water.
While we are throwing our boomerangs, another hunter carefully enters the water, dives under the water - before white men came the waters were crystal clear - through the reeds, grabs the birds by the legs, pulls them under, breaks their necks and puts them in a little string belt he wears around his waist. And there’s your evening meal.
WALLY COOPER Yorta Yorta/Moidaban