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Cane is either of two genera of tall, perennial grasses with flexible, woody stalks from different tribes of the family Poaceae, that grow throughout the world. The genus Arundo (tribe Arundineae) is native from the Mediterranean region to the Far East. The genus Arundinaria is a bamboo (tribe Bambuseae) found in the New World. Neither genus includes sugarcane (genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae).
Depending on strength, cane can be fashioned for various purposes, including walking sticks, crutches, Judicial canes, or school canes. Where canes are used in corporal punishment, they must meet particular specifications, such as a high degree of flexibility. Cane historically has been used for many other purposes such as baskets, furniture, boats, roofs and wherever stiff, withy sticks can be put to good use.
English "cane" derives from biblical Hebrew Qana, which is also used for the beam of a "balance" (Isaiah 46:6), "a staff of reed" (i.e., a walking-stick, Isaiah 36:6 and Ezekiel 29:6), and the "branches" of a candlestick (Exodus 37:18). Most famously, the word appears in Ezekiel as the measuring "rod" used on the prophet Ezekiel's visionary temple, and in Revelation, where it is used to measure the New Jerusalem.
Cane is used for a variety of artistic and practical purposes, such as Indian baskets of North America. During the 18th and early 19th century, non-commissioned officers in some European armies could carry canes to discipline troops (when not in use, the cane was hooked to a cross-belt or a button). Cane is used to describe furniture made of wicker. Cane also describes a length of colored, patterned glass rod used in caneworking, a style of glassblowing.
Canes are used in regional folk-dancing and as props on stage. For example, folk-dancers may twirl canes overhead, stand them on the head, spin them off to the sides, or strike them on the floor.
- Candy cane
- Cane (crutch)
- Cane ethanol
- Caning (furniture)
- Cane gun
- Walking stick
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arundo.|
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Arundo
- Erowid Arundo Donax vault
- Fashionable Walking Canes & Walking Sticks — History of Canes Page Info (reprinted with permission)
- Description of Arundinaria
- Walking-Stick Papers (Robert Cortes Holliday, 1918) — Project Gutenberg ebook
- Modern cane fighting based on Oriental techniques
- Reprinted early 1900s information about the Vigny cane and associated techniques