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Australian Handmade Wooden Walking Sticks Built to Last

Posted on July 31, 2013 by Sarah Davidson Comments (6)

  

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On Lake Mungo, part of the fossil Willandra Lakes district of NSW, there are a collection of footprints dated at around 20,000 years old, the largest collection of Pleistocene footprints in the world. There are tracks of women and children and overlaying them, the tracks of three men, running very fast, probably in pursuit of prey. One set of tracks shows a right foot only and beside some of those right foot prints are the marks of what looks like a stick, used to help the one legged runner make long powerful strides and possibly the earliest evidence of a walking stick ever.

It is not hard to imagine even earlier humans using a stick to help in crossing rough or steep ground and even lowland gorillas have been seen using long sticks to help themselves across streams, so the walking stick in its basic form has been around a long time.

Ancient Greek and Egyptian artefacts show sticks of varying types being used for different purposes - long staffs for ceremonial purposes or as aids for the aged, short sticks with cross pieces on top for use as crutches which evolved into the modern T bar walking stick. Throughout the history of both western and eastern Christianity as well as Islam, the staff has been an ecclesiastical symbol which is still current today. 

 

A good stout walking stick is an extremely useful thing and can be used for bush bashing, clearing cobwebs, testing the depth of streams and puddles, fending off assailants, attacking miscreants, it can be slung across the shoulders to carry buckets of water or other belongings, it can be used to poke down holes, to stir the grass for snakes, to hit something to attract attention - the list is endless - and the term ' a good stick' applied to an honest, decent, straightforward person needs no explanation.

At some stage walking sticks became a fashion accessory for men which is when a great variety of styles and decoration became available with handles being made from silver, bronze, bone, ivory, precious wood and those handles carved, embossed, inlaid with gems and pearl and generally embellished in myriad ways. The main styles of walking stick or cane are the T bar , the Knob handle , the tall hiking staff and the hooked American style cane, used to great effect by the tap dancing Fred Astaire and on other less entertaining showmen to haul them off the stage before the audience started throwing things.

A walking stick, and particularly a wooden one, is one of those elemental objects whose evolution from literally a stick to its modern, sophisticated form can be so clearly seen as to be a no brainer. Out for a walk, who has not picked up a stick, whooshed it around, leant on it when walking up a steep hill and, in essence, indulged a very old instinct. I think we all have.

Comments

  • Posted by Peta Foster 06.01.17.

    Do you make longer hiking staffs please.

    Thanks

  • Posted by Steven 01.04.16.

    I am actually looking for a hiking staff approximately 140cm high. I just had my ankle fused and once I’m classified as “recovered” I will still need an aide when I walk through the bush and would prefer a staff to a stick.
    Do you have anything like this or will you be making anything like that soon? Is so how much would it be? I live in Melbourne.

  • Posted by Ruth K 29.09.15.

    Hi, I need a good walking stick that will support my weight of 130kg with severe arthritis both knees and hands. Would your canes be suitable for my needs ??
    Thanks Ruth

  • Posted by Gary Richter 28.05.15.

    An inner ear problem give terrible balance so I require a walking. I tried one with a bocote shaft, but managed to break it. I’ve decided to shoot for the moon and get one with an Australian buloke shaft. Can you help me with this? Also, I prefer the derby style handle.

  • Posted by Ben at Australian Woodwork 24.11.14.

    Hi Ann-Maree,

    Thanks for your message! We can definitely get one of our T-Bar Walking Sticks out to you before Christmas as a gift for your father.

    The total price would be $125 AUD which is just the price of the walking stick, as this would qualify for our Free Shipping for all orders over $100. It would arrive to you in Sydney in 1-2 business days. So this means would have to order by Friday 19th of December to ensure it arrives on or before the day before Christmas the 24th.

    Finally, we can confirm the walking stick is 91.5cm in height, however unfortunately at this stage we cannot engrave your fathers initials on it as we do not currently have a way to provide this service.

    Thanks, and please let us know if you have any further questions. Ben

  • Posted by ann-maree.greene 24.11.14.

    I would like to buy a wood walking stick for my father with his initials on it.
    I would like the flat t bar handle and it needs to be 90cm.

    Are you able to do this before Christmas. if so what is the price – we live in Sydney.

    thanks
    Ann-Maree

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