A bola is a type of throwing weapon designed to entangle a running animal or a low flying fowl. It is made of interconnected rope with three weights, but have been used with as many as eight weights.
Bolas were most famously used by gauchos (Argentinian cowboys) to capture running cattle or game, but have been discovered in relics all over the world, from Patagonia, Pre-Columbia, Machupe, Inca Army's and even the North American Early Man Site.
The design of the bola varies by use and region. Gauchos bolas' typically had braided leather strands with wooden balls, or leather sacks filled with stones on the end of each strand. We also see bolas used by ninjas and various warriors in anime and comics.
To use the bola, hold it by the center knot and twirl it above your head. Release the knot so that the bola flies toward your target. When you release the bola, the weighted cords will separate. Ideally, these cords will wrap around and immobilize the fowl or animal that you hit.
Here is a great tutorial on how to tie a monkeys fist bola to practice with.
And if you'd like watch an instructional video demonstrating throwing an improvised bola, check out Dave Canterburys' (cohost of Discovery Dual Survival) video on YouTube.
We hope you've learned something about making and using a primitive bola, good luck out there!