A word about whip history.
The Pharos' Crook and Flail
|I have read on many reputable web sites
including wikipedia.org that whips can be traced back to ancient
Egypt. As evidence they sight the fact that the Pharos carried
whips to signify their position and dominance over the people.
couldn't be further from the truth. While I don't dispute the fact
used whips and I will show evidence of that later in this article.
However the items the Pharos carried for ceremony where not whips.
Before I go any further let's define what a whip is. According
Dictionary a whip is defined as "an instrument consisting
usually of a handle and lash forming a flexible rod that is used
Further more it defines a bullwhip as "a rawhide whip with
a very long plaited lash". So we can safely say that a whip
consists of a single tail that varies in flexibility. What the
where called a "crook" and "flail". It's pretty
hard to confuse the crook for a whip. In case you don't know, the
crook is the
one that looks like a walking stick. But the term flail has been
here as being
for whip when
we go back
Dictionary and look up flail we get the following description "a
hand threshing implement consisting of a wooden handle at the end
of which a stouter and shorter stick is so hung as to swing freely".
|So we can safely say that a flail is basically a
nunchuk. Two pieces of wood connected by a flexible joint. I doubt this design
would ever produce a sonic boom. Some might argue that a flail
is a device used for whipping people. We all
some people do partake in different forms of flagellation either
by others. But the crook and flail carried by the Pharos signified
something entirely different. The crook signified the control of
livestock like sheep and the flail signified the control of produce
specifically grain. This type of flail was used for crushing grain.
Could it have been used to hit people? Of course it could. So could
the crook for that matter, but in this case the symbolism was that
the Pharos controlled the land and the livestock, both symbols
of wealth and life. Of course this
So what did an
Egyptian whip look like?
Well it did not look much different
than what we call a whip today. As you can clearly see from these
two ancient Egyptian medallions the whip in his hand
is clearly of the single tail variety. What's more there is no
evidence of two pieces of wood nor does it look at all like the
flail that has been mistaken by some for a whip. To my eye it
looks a lot like a stock whip or a long handled bullwhip. I am
pretty sure it was a variation of one or the other. So now that
you know the historical truth. You can look like a "whip
whiz" the next time you get together with your whip cracking
friends. If they don't believe you, you can always show them
Now that we have cleared that up, lets take a look at the origins
of the bullwhip.
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