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(Spanish: "balls"; from boleadoras), South American Indian weapon, primarily used for hunting, consisting of stone balls, usually in a group of three, attached to long, slender ropes. In hunting rhea, guanaco, and other animals in open country, the bola is whirled like a sling, then thrown parallel to the ground to entwine the quarry's legs. Bolas were also used by the gauchos of Argentina and Uruguay to catch cattle.