Bomarsund, a narrow channel between the island of Aland and Vardo, at the entrance of the gulf of Bothnia. This channel was formerly commanded by the strong Russian fortifications on the S. E. extremity of Aland, which were destroyed by the allied fleets in 1854.
Bomerang, Or Womera Boomerang, a missile for war, sport, or the chase, used by the aborigines of Australia. It consists of a piece of very hard wood about 2 ft. long, 2 1/2 inches wide, and 1/3 of an inch thick, bent to a parabolic curve, the ends rounded, and one side convex, while the other is flat. It is taken in the hand by one end, with the convex edge forward and the flat side up, and projected as if to hit an object directly in advance. It gradually rises, rotating rapidly, and finally takes a retrograde motion and falls behind the projector. Its effective use requires a skill that Europeans find it next to impossible to acquire.
Bona Dea (the good goddess), a Roman divinity, sister, wife, or daughter of Faunus. Her worship was secret, performed only by women; and men were not allowed to know her name. Her sanctuary was in a cavern in the Aventine hill, but her festival, which occurred May 1, was celebrated in a separate room in the dwelling of the consul who then had the fasces. No man was allowed to be present, all male statues in the house were covered, and the myrtle was avoided in the decoration of the house with flowers. The wine used at this festival was called milk, and the vessel in which it was kept mellarium. After a sacrifice, called damium, the wine was drunk and bacchanalian dances were performed. According to Juvenal, licentious abominations marked these festivals. The snake was the symbol of the goddess, indicating that she was regarded as possessing a curative medical power. In her sanctuary various herbs were offered for sale.
Bonhomme, a S. E. county of Dakota, separated from Nebraska on the south by the Missouri river; area, about 400 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 608. The productions in 1870 were 1,930 bushels of wheat, 3,520 of Indian corn, 1,590 of oats, 2,870 of potatoes, and 1,315 tons of hay.
Bonlak, Or Bnlak Boolak, a town of Egypt, on the Nile, 1 m. N. W. of Cairo, of which it is the port; pop. about 5,000. In 1799 it was burned by the French. Mehemet Ali rebuilt it, and established extensive cotton-spinning, weaving, and printing works, a school of engineering, and a printing establishment, renowned for its productions in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, from which is issued a weekly newspaper in Arabic. The town contains a naval arsenal, a dockyard, and a custom house, and is surrounded by the country residences of numerous Egyptian grandees.
Bonny River, one of the outlets of the Niger, at its delta on the coast of Guinea. Near its mouth is Bonnytown, which was once a place of great resort for slavers. Large quantities of palm oil are exported from this place. The country around the river is fiat and swampy. The people are dirty and superstitious, and large numbers of them die every year from dysentery and fever, owing to the unhealthy climate.