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Bull Whips: Bringing Back A Lost Art!

Updated on July 15, 2019
Terry Rall profile image

Terry is interested in Unique Sporting Arts & How items are made & used!

Bull Whips, & How They Are Made!

When anyone thinks about Bull Whips? They usually think of "Indiana Jones & The Raiders Of The Lost Ark". Either that or the musical group DEVO's "Whip It" video. Bull Whips were used over the ages for livestock control. The animals weren't actually hit with the whips much, but the cracking noise of the whip was used to make animals, mainly cattle to stay in the herd.

The Bull Whip consists of the following parts. The handle,the thong, the fall, & the cracker. The handle of the whip is made out of wood which is covered by the leather that makes up the thong. The thong of the whip is made of overlapping woven leather strips. The fall is usually a single leather strip attached to the thong. And the cracker is made of nylon, twine, or other thin material that causes the whip to make a 'sonic boom' cracking sound when used correctly!

There are many kinds of whips? But we will stick to bull whips for this excursion!

Types Of Bull Whips!

Indiana Jones style leather bull whip!
Indiana Jones style leather bull whip!
Indy Style 25 foot leather bull whip!
Indy Style 25 foot leather bull whip!
Kangaroo hide bull whip!
Kangaroo hide bull whip!

What Kind Of Whips Are Made? & Who Are Whip Crackers?

Most whips are made out of leather. Australians use kangaroo hide because it is stronger. Whips can be made out of synthetic materials like nylon to be used in damp conditions that ruin hide whips. The crackers are made of a lighter material so as to provide the cracking sound of the whip!

Whip Crackers are usually of Western origin in the United States. But there are many whip crackers from Australia, South America, & Spain. Whips are commonly used to train bulls, hence the name bull whip! Many whip crackers engage in competitions involving best cracking & target shooting where the whip is used to snare an object. Whip cracking tournaments occur on special occasions & to control animals in rodeos! Whip crackers always create excitement for their audiences!

Whip Crackers!

A Whip Cracker in Competition!
A Whip Cracker in Competition!
An Australian Whip Cracker!
An Australian Whip Cracker!

Enjoying A Lost Art!

Whip cracking tournaments are especially exciting, and you can still purchase your own bull whip if you want to engage in this long & lost art! Bull whips have existed since ancient times until now! Using a bull whip does take a certain amount of talent! Cowboys from the USA & Australia still use bull whips as well as South American Gauchos & Spanish Bull Fighters! Buying a bull whip can be a worth while investment if you want to be proficient with it. But watching Whip Crackers can be a lot of fun within itself! As DEVO said, "Crack That Whip"!


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