Meaning of bullroarer in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbʊlˌrɔːrə/


  • A sacred object used in Australian Aboriginal religious ceremonies, consisting of a piece of wood attached to a string, whirled round to produce a roaring noise.

    ‘Another traditional instrument still used in ritual and ceremonial events is the bullroarer, a thin piece of wood suspended from a string and swung in a circle.’
    • ‘Their sacred bullroarer is kept with other Tjuringas.’
    • ‘Shaped like a knife, a bullroarer makes a humming noise when it is swung.’
    • ‘The old men knew they were lying when they maintained that the sound of the bullroarer was the voice of supernatural beings or that initiands were to be swallowed by monsters.’
    • ‘The buzzing sound rose like a din in some inner ear and I thought of the bullroarers of the Australian Aborigines.’
    • ‘Rong specialists watch over a small ‘thunder house’ where ritual paraphernalia - especially bullroarers and special stones, sometimes too the jawbones of now departed ritual experts - are kept on a rack over a ritual fireplace.’
    • ‘It was some time since any central men's houses had been built there, so it happened that these bachelor quarters also housed men's ritual paraphernalia such as secret gourd instruments, bullroarers, drums, and dance ornaments.’
    • ‘J. R. O. Ojo's study of drums and bullroarers, along with the occasional entries on drums and doors in exhibition catalogues and other texts, some of which are mentioned below, are the primary sources for Ogboni bas-relief work.’
    • ‘Moyle shows clapsticks appearing across the continent, bullroarers, pairs of boomerangs and rattles in specific regions, and the didjeridu in only the top areas of the continent.’
    • ‘Now palmwood is chiefly used in the local context to manufacture bows and bullroarers, which are identity-conferring objects of male power.’
    • ‘One might add that there are other archetypal instruments, such as the West Country bullroarer known as the humbuz, that deserve to be studied by the student of dialect and folklore as well as by the musicologist.’
    • ‘Among these are the integration of musical instruments such as bullroarer, pairs of boomerangs, clapping sticks, seed and shell rattles, and didjeridu into rock group lineups.’