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About This Suitcase

Walking sticks, staffs, canes, and scepters are all types of sticks that people have carried in history. The walking stick as an accessory to dress saw its origins in the 11th century in what is now France. Women there carried slender sticks made of apple wood. It was not until the end of the 15th century, however, that the walking stick was adopted as a general accessory to dress, this time as a masculine rather than feminine fashion. The distinction between walking sticks and canes is drawn by materials. Sticks were made of ivory, whalebone, ebony, and various valuable woods. Canes were made of species of palm, rattan, bamboo, and other types of sturdy reed plants, dried animal skin, animals’ spinal columns, or glass. Both types were highly ornamental, usually mounted in silver and sometimes studded with precious stones. The heads or knobs were made of stone, porcelain, silver, gold, ivory, bone, glass, or amber. Opaque amber was the most fashionable material. Many had decorations or carvings of animals or human features like snakes, eagles, hands, feet, dogs, and heads of famous people.


Sample Activities

  • Create a Walking Stick

  • The Life of a Walking Stick

  • A Walking Stick Story

  • Sticks and Staffs Across Cultures

  • An African Linguist's Staff


What You’ll Learn

  • Elements of Art

  • Principles of Design

  • Types of Art

  • Purposes of Art

  • The History of Walking Sticks


What’s Inside

  • Lesson plans for activities

  • Information on significant artists

  • Books/Publications

  • Artist’s Works

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