question re canes
- Were there canes back in the 15th and 16th centuries? I really want to stay
as period correct as possible but am disabled due to severe fibromyalgia and
degenerative spinal arthritis. Would it be acceptable for someone from
these eras to use some sort of walking stick or assistive device? Thank you.
Kingdom of the East
Shire or Endewearde
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I guess you can't afford a litter and to pay servants to carry you
around? That'd impress the braies off everyone! ;)
No-one is going to knock you for using whatever device you need to get
around. Falling over is not fun.
> Were there canes back in the 15th and 16th centuries? I reallywant to stay
> as period correct as possible but am disabled due to severefibromyalgia and
> degenerative spinal arthritis. Would it be acceptable for someonefrom
> these eras to use some sort of walking stick or assistive device?Thank you.
> No-one is going to knock you for using whatever device youFor em, I wont knock you for using a cane anyway...
> need to get around.
Canes are period. You see em in lots of illustrations regarding age.
You see them in Breugel's illustrations a lot.
The are Prehistoric. References to them are in the old testament, IIRC.
A Quick Check shows Zechariah chapter 8, Verse 4
"Moreover, the Lord who rules over all says, 'Old men and women will
once more live in the plazas of Jerusalem, each one leaning on a
cane because of advanced age"
Zechariah is generally thought to have been written about 4th-5th
century BC and may have been earlier. Zechariah was thought to have
started his ministry in about 520 BC during the Hebrew's Babylonian
Exile under the Persian King Darius.
Also Remember the Sphinx's riddle?
That is "Classical Hellenic" period, and it references the use of a cane.
("what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs and the afternoon
and three legs in the evening?")
The answer: man (Crawls as a baby, Strides about on two legs in his
strength, and uses a cane in his old age)
Don't worry about it.
Canes are period. Use one if you need one.
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A 15th c painting showing canes:
The only reason I remember that painting is because of the cavalir
king charles puppy dog in it. :-)
--- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Gedney" <gedney@...> wrote:
> Canes are period. Use one if you need one.
> Capt Elias
- Staff, or walking stick, are native English terms. Staffs could be
used for walking or for knocking guys into streams, if art and
literature are to be trusted.
The word "cane" came into English later (and more on "cane" in a bit).
The terms "bent cane" is used, so that implies they weren't all
A crook, a bent cane/stick, is another thing to consider. Some were
for hooking lambs or music hall performers. But some were walking
crooks--like a crutch. Archbishops use them still, right? Or
Bishops? (Somebody does...)
There's thought to have been a legal concept involving "hook or
crook." Estates had rights that went with them, as to tolls or
income or hunting or wood gathering. Sometimes people could not cut
firewood, but they could have what wood they could get "by hook or
crook," meaning if they could reach into the tree with a tool and and
pull some deadwood down, okay.
I looked up "crutch." It's a really old word: "Common Teutonic,"
says the Oxford English Dictionary.
I can't transcribe from that book anymore. There was a time when my
eyes were good enough, but I can't hold the magnifying glass and
type. But the early definitions talk about walking staffs. So in
the 10th century the word didn't necessarily mean a stick with a
horizontal piece on it. There are two origin words they think
might have come to bear on the English word. One survives in our
"crouch"--to need to stoop some. The other is "crutch/crotch"--a
place where a tree forks. Long, long before people had crotches,
trees had lots of crotches, and people who were building barns and
houses knew which were good for what. Long before people made lumber
out of trees and then made things from lumber, people looked at the
details of trees to find things already "made," already grown. There
were parts of trees that were used for post and beam construction,
and for hooks on walls (an upright beam might be chosen because it
had a branch coming out that could be used as roof support or a hook).
Having read through what the OED says for "cane," I wouldn't use it
for SCA purposes. The plant "cane" but because of sugar cane. The
first example of use under the definition of a walking stick is
discussion of people using them to swat other people. That's
probably still the first meaning in England (not in the U.S., where
people might've been whipped or spanked or paddled, but they weren't
so much "caned"). It's past the period about which you inquried
that the term "cane" meant a little bent walking stick, but you can
use a little bent walking stick and call it a walking stick or a crook.