Image Gallery: Morrison Collection: Boomerangs from outside the Hunter Valley region

Boomerangs make up almost half the total number of objects in the Morrison Collection. While most are from the Hunter Valley region, some are from outside this area, for example from Western New South Wales and Queensland. This may be because Morrison exchanged objects with other collectors. Or, he may have collected objects during his travels.

Boomerangs were used predominantly as hunting weapons, but also in fighting and ceremonial events. Thought to have been developed from the club, the boomerang demonstrates a significant development in Indigenous technology. The boomerang provided Indigenous Australians with a more efficient hunting tool that enabled people to hunt their prey from a greater distance and, in the hands of a skilled user, with greater precision. The aerodynamic shape of the boomerang allows it to fly in a virtually straight line and hit its target in an effort to either kill or maim prey.

In addition to their use in hunting, the boomerang also plays a significant role in Indigenous culture and ceremonies as a percussive musical instrument. Boomerangs can also be used as an aid in lighting a fire. Since European settlement the boomerang has become significant as an iconic and quintessentially Australian item which is sought after by tourists as well as more serious art collectors.