A short history of walking sticks

Posted by M Agnew on 19th Feb 2020

A short history of walking sticks

Walking sticks

When our distant ancestors hacked off a straight branch with their flint tools the walking stick was born. Useful for defence or attack it enhanced safety and mobility and perhaps, in an idle moment, as they whittled away to fashion and decorate that humble stick they created craft and art. 

From these origins the walking stick has a very illustrious history. And whilst these early attempts are lost we can at least see how the tradition of the walking stick has survived from the 130 sticks placed in Tutankhamen's tomb to assist him in the afterlife dating from 1358BC to the sceptre placed in the hand of the British monarch's coronation ceremony as a symbol of royal investure.

The branch, whether of blackthorn, birch, hazel or oak, evolved into a symbol of power and authority and even of magic. The Egyptians' sticks were topped by a lotus flower symbolising long life, Moses parted the Red Sea with his staff, Zeus could create thunder with his rod and Merlin waved his wand to create magic. 


All were sticks. Shepherds used them to guide their flocks an idea promulgated by Christianity where the Bishop's crooked staff symbolises him as leader of the flock of the congregation. Pilgrims used them on their long pilgrimages to the Holy Land and they helped travellers of all kinds ease the burden of long walks.

                                                  

But today the walking stickis viewed rather differently as an aid to mobility but is that so new? Consider the Riddle of the Sphinx:" What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?" There are country walking sticks, hiking sticks, thumbsticks or even as fashion accessories to name a few. 

The walking stick, whether its called la canne, der Spazierstock or el baston, remains a valuable aid to many people both in leisure and therapeutic activities. They can be plain or highly decorated with ornate heads made of precious materials or intricately carved wood. There is an infinite variety available. And perhaps you can even make your own like your distant ancestor.

Here at The Online Bazaar we really do appreciate the rich history of walking sticks and we feel that every stick tells a story.

That is why we feel our site is perfect for anybody looking to buy a walking stick.

We have a wide range of styles and woods available just click here to view our entire range.