Go to the Home Page of Historical Folk Toys Catalog Continuation Page See Our Best Sellers

.

Catalog Navigation Legend

.
Page One
Buzz Saw
Paddleball
Sleeper Yo-Yo ~ Natural
Page Two
Bull Roarer
Jacob's Ladder
Hardwood Top ~ Blue & Red
Hardwood Top ~ Natural
Page Three
Cup & Ball Toss Toy ~ Colored
Cup & Ball Toss Toy ~ Natural
Four-Note Train Whistle
Hand Propeller
.

 

.
Page Four
Jump Rope Set
Spool Tractor
Finger Tops ~ Natural
Graces
Page Five
Thaumatropes
Button & String Puzzle
"T" Puzzle
Pyramid Puzzle
Ox-Yoke Puzzle
.
.
.
.

 

.
Other Sections
Early Education
Traditional Games
Home Crafts
Historical Doll Kits
Folk Instruments
Native American
Historical Books
Music Books
Index of Catalog Listings
.
.
.
.
.

Bull Roarer

.

Continued from product description on Classic Toys & Puzzles' Page Two...

Historical Background: The bull roarer is a primitive wind instrument and one of the first musical instruments Man invented. It has been used by primitive cultures in Africa, Australia, New Guinea, Europe, the Americas, and the Arctic polar region. Its origins can be traced to 24,000 years ago! It has been a symbol of fertility, and evidence of them has been found in several Paleolithic sites.

The bull roarer was an important acoustical part of various spiritual rituals and certain rites of passage in some areas of the world. When spun overhead in a circular motion, it produces a pleasing "whirr, whirr" hypnotic droning sound. This sound was incorporated into primitive rituals to produce a "voice" of an ancestor, a spirit, or deity. To others, its sound represented various insects and animals.

The bull roarer has been used for several purposes. It has been used to call out to the spirit world and to gain the attention of spiritual beings who were thought to be able to influence the natural elements, such as wind and rain. Hence, bull roarers are usually painted with various symbols representing clouds, raindrops, lightning, and other depictions. The Apaches in North America used bull roarers to call forth rain.

This ancient wind instrument was made with a flat wooden board (called a "rhomboid") and pierced with a small hole at one of the ends for attaching a length of cord or rope. The rhomboid was sometimes carved, painted, or both. Sometimes animal bone or stone was substituted for the flat wood board. Oftentimes, a thong handle was tied to the other end of the cord for a better grip to control speed and direction.

The bull roarer's sound is produced by vibrations of the flat wood as it rotates in the air. Changing in the speed and angle to the ground changes the sonority and allows an individual to make the sounds of a whimper, moan, roar, or scream.

There is not a typical range for bull roarers as each one is a one-of-a-kind instrument. Change the velocity of the spin, however, and the size of the instrument affects the relative pitch. The smaller the bull roarer, the faster it can be spun for a higher pitch. Conversely, a larger instrument spinning at a slower speed results in a lower pitch.

The bull roarer has been used by Native American cultures such as the Athabaskan, Nootka, Yokuts, Pomo, Hopi, and Aztecs. The Navajo call their bull roarers "Tsin di'ni" (groaning stick) and used them to drive away evil spirits. It is called several different names, including "Burliwarni," "Ngurrarngay," and "Muypak." Sometimes a bull roarer was used to send animals into ambush or to alert a tribe of another's presence in their area.

To the Maori, the bull roarer is called "Purererhua" (butterfly), and a smaller version (called a "Porotiti") was used for healing by spinning over areas of rheumatism or arthritis. (The sound's vibrations massaged joints in a similar way to modern ultrasound therapy!)

The main academics that have studied ancient bull roarers have been ethnomusicologists and anthropologists. This is because of the instrument's use in ritual and magic ceremonies.

Fun Fact: The bull roarer is also called a Rhombus and is still used today as the "voice of God" by Aborigine tribes in Australia!

Fun Fact: The bull roarer is an "aerophone" and, along with the flute, one of the oldest musical instruments of its kind!

Would you like to return to the previous page or go to the next product description?

The above info is copyrighted by Historical Folk Toys, LLC and has been properly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
All rights reserved. Any reprint or reuse -- in any form or by any means -- is strictly prohibited without our written permission.
.

Bull Roarer
Bull Roarer
Item Number 2004

Return to Previous Page

.
Would you like to return to the previous page or go to the next product description?
.

Go to the Next Product Description

Site Navigation Legend

.
Product Catalog
Early Education ~ Classic Toys & Puzzles ~ Traditional Games ~ Home Crafts
Historical Doll Kits ~ Folk Instruments ~ Native American ~ Historical Books
Music Books ~ Index of Catalog Listings ~ Alphabetical & Numerical Listings
Products by Periods Guide ~ Origins of Our Products

General Information
New Products ~ Our Best Sellers ~ About the Elves ~ Our Scrapbook
Affiliations ~ Wholesale Terms ~ Catalog Request ~ Green Policies
.

Go to Top of Page
Go to Site Map

.

Go to the Home Page of Historical Folk Toys Wholesale Only
Read about the Elves at Historical Folk Toys
Address Symbol
10100 Park Cedar Drive, Suite 134 City and State Symbol Charlotte, NC 28210 USA
Phone Symbol
(800) 871-1984 Fax Symbol (800) 871-1899 E-mail Symbol info at historicalfolktoys.com
Call (704) 543-0204 or fax to (704) 543-0205 if dialing locally or from outside the USA.
Home Page Symbol Home Page Privacy Policy Symbol Privacy Policy Wholesale Conditions Symbol Contact Information Legal Notices Symbol Legal Notices Site Map Symbol Site Map
Web Site Content: Copyright © 2004-present by Historical Folk Toys, LLC et al. Web
Site Design: Copyright © 1996-present by Beeline Publications. All rights reserved.
See Our Best Sellers

Unauthorized use is prohibited. No part of this Web site may be published, stored or transmitted -- in any form or by any means -- without
written permission from Historical Folk Toys, LLC. Copyright violation may result in costly fines for you or your organization. Getting
permission is easy. Getting out of legal trouble is not! Please take a few minutes to read about copyrights and how they apply to you and
the material you find on the Internet: "Are You a Copyright Criminal?," the U.S. Copyright Office, and "10 Copyright Myths Explained."