Column: the history corner
Galerie 34

The Cane ...

In Rome all the free men had a Cane.

With the Middle Ages the Cane is no more setting. The exiguity of the vital space in a castle does not favour its use.

The lord and its loyal supporter live either in the castle or out of the walls, armed to the teeth, in coat of mail if not in armour and always with horse, thus the uselessness of the cane.

On the other hand the Stick, le Bâton, high cane, becomes a fighting weapon " Dixit Robin Hood or Robin des Bois".

The constitution of Charlemagne inserted in the law of Lombards authorizes only stick duels, but the lords prefere the sword and leave the stick to the vilains for their quarrels.

So, no more room for the cane!!!

However, the Middle Ages being the time of many perigrinations, the pilgrimage will generate a type of stick or high Cane particularly significant:

The Bourdon, 5th leg of the pilgrim, without which it is inconceivable to leave on the way to Jerusalem, Rome, or Compostel. The Bourdon is the subject of a benediction ceremony before the departure.


Saint-Roch The loyalty


The Brothers St-Jacques on the way to Spain. Le Figaro 13/07/1990

The Bourdon is a strong and high cane exceeding the height of the heart of the man standing up, with sometimes a carved handle with a religious scene, leather covered or studded on 20/25 cm.

Under this handle, allowing a good catch in hand, a thrust, sort of resurgence, boule or carved ring, to stop the hand during the effort, which also makes it possible to bind the flask and sudarium. It is armed in bottom with a long forged steel ferrule.

Le Bourdon, is used for everything: to walk, to carry a bundle (the four nodes trunk), to pole vault for crossing an obstacle, to attack and defend oneself... Two Bourdon gathered by ropes form a stretcher etc. And also the Bourdon as a symbol carried by the pilgrim, a column connecting the ground and the sky, the matter and the spirit, the tangible with the intangible.

In short... the Middle Ages end, the Renaissance begins.

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