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There are claims that it was developed in South America where, like "cow-whips" during the slave trade, it was used as a weapon, or that it arrived there from Spain, but Roman mosaics dating to around the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD show what appear to be tapered drop-lash whips, rather than the two-piece whips often associated with the Romans and other ancient cultures.
A bullwhip is a single-tailed whip, usually made of braided leather, designed as a tool for working with livestock.
Whereas, in times past, the bullwhip was designed for one basic, main purpose, modern whip makers design their whips for different specific purposes and to suit different throwing styles.
Regardless of their intended end use, all bullwhips have certain common features.
Bullwhips are pastoral tools, traditionally used to control livestock in open country.
A bullwhip's length, flexibility, and tapered design allows it to be thrown in such a way that, toward the end of the throw, part of the whip exceeds the speed of sound—thereby creating a small sonic boom.