Word of the Day – Tuesday, September 24th



Word of the Day


Clever Clue of the Month

The Cruciverbalist


Daily Email

BOLA (BOH-luh)

A rope with weights attached, used especially in South America to catch cattle or game by entangling their legs.
Common clues: Cattle catcher; Vaquero's weapon;
Weight-laden lasso; Gaucho’s gadget; Weapon of two balls and a cord
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 65328 / 86800
Primitive hunting tool – the bola

A hunter mounted on a horse using bolas

Bolas (from Spanish bola, "ball", also known as boleadoras) are a throwing weapon similar to the surujin made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs. They are most famously used by the South American gauchos, but have been found in excavations of pre-Hispanic settlements, especially in Patagonia, where indigenous peoples used them to catch guanaco and ñandu.

Gauchos use boleadoras to capture running cattle or game. Depending on the exact design, the thrower grasps the boleadoras either by one of the weights or by the nexus of the cords. He gives the balls momentum by swinging them and then releases the boleadoras. 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).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bolas".