Bola (PSF).jpg
A hunter using bolas while mounted on a horse.
TypeThrowing weapon
Place of originThe Americas

A bolas (plural: bolas or bolases; from Spanish bola, "ball", also known as boleadoras) is a type of throwing weapon made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, used to capture animals by entangling their legs. Bolas were most famously used by the gauchos (South American cowboys), but have been found in excavations of Pre-Columbian settlements, especially in Patagonia, where indigenous peoples (particularly the Tehuelche) used them to catch 200-pound guanaco (llama-like mammals) and ñandú (birds). The Mapuche and the Inca army used them in battle. Researchers have also found bolas in North America at the Calico Early Man Site.[citation needed]


River Plate Indians with Bolas (Hendrick Ottsen, 1603)

Gauchos used boleadoras to capture running cattle or game. Depending on the exact design, the thrower grasps the boleadora by one of the weights or by the nexus of the cords. He gives the balls momentum by swinging them and then releases the boleadora. The weapon is usually used to entangle the animal's legs, but when thrown with enough force might even inflict damage (e.g. breaking a bone).

Traditionally, Inuit have used bolas to hunt birds, fouling the birds in air with the lines of the bola. People of a Feather showed Belcher Island Inuit using bolas to hunt eider ducks on the wing.[1]

Other Languages
asturianu: Boleadoras
български: Болеадорас
čeština: Bola
dansk: Bola
Deutsch: Bola
español: Boleadoras
Esperanto: Ĵetbulo
français: Bolas (arme)
한국어: 사냥돌
Bahasa Indonesia: Boleadoras
italiano: Bolas
lietuvių: Bola
Nederlands: Bola (lasso)
norsk: Bolas
occitan: Boleadoras
polski: Bolas
português: Boleadeira
Runa Simi: Liwi
русский: Болас
Simple English: Bolas
slovenčina: Bola
српски / srpski: Бола
suomi: Bola
svenska: Bola
українська: Болеадорас