The Crossroads of the Aether
The title says it all really. The thing I have is that I am just starting to make a few canes for myself, and have looked a little into their history. Apparently the true mark of a gentle man was to carry a cane. But I feel I would become annoyed having something in my hands the whole time, (I am a doer, a jumper, a climber.)
I also read there was a certain etiquette to cane use. One did not carry it, drag it, lean on it, write in the dirt with it, or pick your nose with it, (sorry. I made that last one up.)
So, who out there uses a cane as a fashion statement rather than mobility aid. How do you find it, and what do you do with it? (Yes, I know you hold it in your hand by the knobby or bent end and walk with it, I mean when you are not walking!) When you do walk with it, do you prefer to match your step with it, or give an additional swing for flair and panache?
I seem to recall that the expression " under the yoke " comes from an early Roman defeat following which the survivors were made to pass under a yoke as a form of humiliation .
It does go back to early Roman times, long before the strength of the Republic unified the peninsula and I suspect the ritual might have been used by other earlier agrarian cultures as a metaphor for subjugation. Certainly the Egyptians and Mesopotamian cultures used oxen and the simile must have struck them also.
Carrying a stick in the military goes back a long way back to the times of the Roman Centurion who sported a piece of grave vine called a vitis. Some armies revived it as the swagger stick and the pace stick, which was used to measure steps for a parade . Officers in the UK often carried swagger sticks, riding crops and canes of different types.
General Patton affected a riding crop and a swagger stick with a concealed blade. Field marshals had their marshal’s baton. They are an implement of command, much like the swagger stick, but far more elaborate. There is a small but dedicated group of collectors who collect military swagger sticks as often they have a regiment or name on the implement.
I have occasionally carried a riding crop, rather than a cane at conventions. I have not yet worked up a good swagger stick to carry, but who knows. A riding crop makes for a snappy accouterment for a man about town.
Especially a man, good friend, who is wearing riding boots; he should most always carry a riding crop when out walking, though a cane will do.
By the by, the same goes go for the ladies. :-}
Indeed, there is something about a woman's form in jodhpurs and riding boots. Just mind her riding crop if you whistle.
Where man has gone, so has his desire to plant grapes for food and wine.
In an area some 8 to 10 miles to the west of my home, a vineyard had been planted, and a very expensive facility for pressing and fermentation.
Unfortunately, it failed, reasons unknown.
AFAIK the vines are still there, almost all dead, BUT...they might be useable for 'Vitis' (Vitii?) for some of the Roman re-enactors I know, and might be long enough for a cane or two.
I will be passing by the area today, and will investigate, saw in hand.
Lots of luck, there should be some good stock out there for walking sticks and the like.