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Art/ Collection/ Art Object


late 19th–early 20th century
Australia, Western Australia
possibly Warlpiri or Warumungu people
H. 10 1/8 x W. 28 1/4 in. (25.7 x 71.8 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979
Accession Number:
Not on view
Like the majority of Aboriginal boomerangs, the hooked boomerangs of central and northern Australia were nonreturning. Often referred to as "number 7" boomerangs because of their distinctive shape, these boomerangs appear to have been made primarily by the peoples of the Tanami desert region, but were exchanged widely throughout the central and northern regions of the continent along a complex and far-reaching system of inland trade routes. Boomerangs of this type were primarily employed in fighting, but were also used in bird hunting. Thrown into the rising flocks, they were highly effective in striking birds in flight, causing them to fall to the ground where they could be easily captured.
Lillian Schoedler, New York, until 1962; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1962, on permanent loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1962–1978

Jones, Philip. Boomerang: Behind an Australian Icon. Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1996.

Kjellgren, Eric. How to Read Oceanic Art. How to Read 3. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014, p. 68.

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