A boomerang is a curved throwing stick and used by people as toys or as weapons. The Aboriginal peoples of Australia, have long used boomerangs for animal hunting and warfare.
There are two types of boomerangs: returning boomerangs and nonreturning boomerangs. Returning boomerangs are lightweight and have a special curved shape. A returning boomerang flies in a circle and comes back to the thrower. People use returning boomerangs for sporting events and as toys.
Nonreturning boomerangs are not toys. Ancient peoples used them for killing prey or enemies. This type of boomerang is much straighter than a returning boomerang. It cuts through the air in a wobbly way.
True boomerangs are found mainly in Australia. However, people in ancient Egypt, southern India, and other cultures also used boomerang-shaped weapons. Some Native American groups used boomerang-shaped weapons for hunting birds, rabbits, and other animals.
The first boomerangs were made from a single piece of carved wood. The carver heated the wood in hot ashes and then bent it to get the right shape. Today boomerangs used for sports are often made of plywood or fiberglass. Their shape can be very different from the curved shape of traditional boomerangs. For example, some modern boomerangs have three blades in the shape of the letter Y.