French fashion house Chanel has provoked accusations of cultural appropriation with its latest accessory: a boomerang with a price tag of about $1,500.
Boomerangs are an important symbol of Australia’s Aboriginal heritage and depictions of the tool appear in rock art that could be among the oldest ever made by humans. But Chanel’s take, which turns the traditional hunting weapon into a status symbol, has caused controversy, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
“When I think about Aboriginal culture, I think @chanel,” activist and writer Nayuka Gorrie, one of many to call out the fashion house on Twitter, wrote. “Have decided to save for three years so I can connect with my culture via Chanel,” she added.
Speaking to the Guardian, Nathan Sentance, an Indigenous project officer at the Australian Museum noted that at A$1,930, Chanel’s boomerang cost nearly 10% of the average annual income of Indigenous Australians.
Chanel’s resin and wood boomerang is one of four items that make up the label’s “luxury sports collection.” There is also a $1,600 tennis racket, a beach set for $3,600 and a $422 pack of tennis balls.
In a statement issued to various media outlets, Chanel said it was “extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended.”