Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Boomerang of Tamilakam

An Australian Aborigine and his boomerang
Boomerangs from Australia
We usually think of Australia and their aboriginal people whenever the word Boomerang is mentioned. Not many are aware that the Tamil people used boomerangs too. The Tamil boomerang is known as Valari or Valai Tadi.
Dr. A.V Jayachandran holding a Valari. This weapon was excavated near the ancient port of Thondi. It was under the rule of the ancient Pandyas. Source: Dr. S.Jayabarathi (student of Dr. A.V Jayachandran)
Tamil boomerangs were used for hunting. Most of it were not meant to return. These boomerangs were also used in warfare to decapitate the enemies.

I was introduced to Tamil boomerangs by Dr.S.Jayabarathi (DrJaybee). It was his writings which inspired me to learn more about our origins. Furthermore, both our ancestors came from Sivagangai, a district known for its martial culture during ancient times.

My ancestors used the boomerang not just to hunt deers but also to kill their enemies during war. It was a common weapon. In those days, our ancestors would even use these boomerangs as a ceremonial weapon during weddings.

The famous rulers of Sivagangai, Periya Marudu Servai and Chinna Marudu Servai, and the Thondaiman kings of Pudukottai were experts in the art of throwing the boomerang.

I will conclude this post with some important notes from two books. Enjoy!

.....and the Tamulian Kallar and Marawar (of Madura) who use it in deer-hunting, term it 'Valai Tadi' (bent stick). The Pudukota Rajah always kept a stock in arsenal.

Sir Richard F Burton
page 38-39, The Book Of The Sword (published in 1884)

Page 555-559 taken from Ethnographic Notes in Southen India (1906) by Edgar Thurston.

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