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Whirligigs - Whirligigs | Garden & Metal Whirligigs | Wind & Weather

A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls, or has at least one part that spins or whirls. Whirligigs are also known as pinwheels, buzzers , comic weather-vanes, gee-haws, spinners, whirligigs, whirlybird, or plain whirly. Whirligigs are most commonly powered by the wind but can be hand, friction, or motor powered. They can be used as a kinetic garden ornament . They can be designed to transmit sound and vibration into the ground to repel burrowing rodents in yards, gardens, and backyards.

Button whirligigs, also known as button spinners and buzzers , are the oldest known whirligigs. They require only a piece of clay or bone and a strip of hide. Native American cultures had their own version of this toy in 500 BC. Many a child of the Great Depression from the southern Appalachians and Ozarks remembers a button or token, or coin and a string as the primary spinning toy of their youth.

Button whirligigs are simple spinning toys whereby two looped ends of twisting thread are pulled with both arms, causing the button to spin. Button whirligigs are often seen today in craft shops and souvenir stores in the southern Appalachian Mountains .