Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Pilgrims staff? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Pilgrims staff?         Reply with quote

Is this a historical weapon? It looks feasible, just a staff with a knob at the top like a pommel, and a second knob acting as a cross guard. Are there any historical references to such a thing? It seems like an unassuming piece to carry that would allow you to use both longsword and staff techniques.

http://vonmeer.deviantart.com/art/Medieval-Pi...-155569712

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
View user's profile Send private message
Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's certainly been around since the late medieval period, with one, two or even three balls turned on the upper part (there's various speculation as to the significance of these, practical or symbolic). It's even found it's way into heraldry. It tends to be found representing pilgrims taking the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Julian
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, very common in historical artwork (esp. depicting saints James or Jacob) with the classic pilgrim's hat, with turned-up brim and scallop shell or badges. I'd never thought of using it with longsword techniques, using the defined grip accordingly, but it certainly could be used offensively/defensively.

One problem--these tend to be shown as shoulder-height, more poleaxe or short staff length than longsword length. Using those techniques, especially with the knobs at the business end, could be pretty formidable. I'm seeing depictions of iron shodding as well, which would be very practical for the road but also add a powerful offensive element.

I see many depictions of a tapered lower section, which could make the longsword-handling more feasible.

The other concern would be whether or not a pilgrim would have longsword skills. More likely, he'd have general skills with the staff. Of course, he might not be inclined to fight at all. Otherwise, it would make more sense to hit the road with a spear.

This would be a great project for an ash wheelbarrow replacement handle (~$15). Those are ~60 inches and 2x2, which would give you a good length and ball diameter. I'd hate to get worked over with one of those. Ash likely was the preferred wood for these for the same reason it was preferred for staff weapons.



 Attachment: 180.22 KB
7000805.JPG


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Wed 02 May, 2012 12:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The more I look at these the more I see martial utility in that two-hand grip. Why that grip length for something meant for single-hand use? I think the martial theory for this design makes good sense, especially given the notorious dangers of travel by foot. I need to make one! Big Grin
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The first thing I thought when I looked at the staff was, "Oh, a Montante waster!'

60 inch ash wheel barrow handle would be perfect! I think I have a Wheel Wright Shop magazine that shows how to make a lathe with a sapling used as a spring...

If anyone else has artwork they could post I'd be most appreciative.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like this fellow's is octagonal, like a polearm haft. That's easy. You'd have to use a chisel and rasp around and between the balls (a-hem) but the rest could be reduced on a table saw and finished with a plane. Square section with the edges shaved.

As for the montante idea--just imagine some Doppelsoldner who promised a pilgrimage in return for escaping a tight spot on a battlefield. He'd be pretty comfortable with that staff in hand on his journey. Pretty deadly, too.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good call Sean, on the octagonal cross section, I'm going to visit the hardware store this weekend. Build a lathe, I always want to make it harder.

The plane would make it easier to taper evenly too.

I bet a cutpurse or two has had a nasty surprise trying to hold up a pilgrim...

Thanks for pointing out the better way, an octagonal cross section would even make a better weapon, with the edges! I think a small section of pipe at the bottom would make a nice ferrule.

Does that word have its origin in ferrous?

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want an enclosed pommel/que/ferrule, you can just use a common pipe cap, ground to whatever section you like. This one is shown on one of those trimmed/octagonalized ash wheelbarrow handles.


 Attachment: 159.64 KB
axe3_116.gif


 Attachment: 243.92 KB
axe6_108.gif


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

my method:


 Attachment: 205.68 KB
staff4.gif


 Attachment: 118.88 KB
staff.gif


 Attachment: 140.19 KB
staff2.gif


 Attachment: 103.65 KB
staff3.gif


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Pilgrims staff?         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams asked, "Is this a historical weapon? It looks feasible, just a staff with a knob at the top like a pommel, and a second knob acting as a cross guard. Are there any historical references to such a thing? It seems like an unassuming piece to carry that would allow you to use both longsword and staff techniques. "



Yes and no Matt. A stick or a staff may very possibly be, if not the first tool certainly the second. A, "dibble" was a weapon, walking stick, digging tool and just about anything else our ancestors could think of using it for. I wouldn't recommend the particular staff in the photo because it appears to be made of second growth pine and would be extremely brittle.

If the stick in the picture was made of a tougher and more resilient hardwood it would be a very efficient staff and a potentially deadly weapon.
View user's profile Send private message
Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 354

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 2:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another historic depiction, ~1480. From a recent edition of Felix Fabri journal.


 Attachment: 200.78 KB
DSCN5666.JPG


Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, thank you for that instructable especially how you use the pipe cap, I would never have thought of that! I have all those tools already, this will be fun, and a nice addition to my kit.

Ken, a valid point, I was mostly using the picture to show the shape of the staff I was asking about, since I hadn't seen any period artwork that showed one. And I had to look up dibble, thank you for expanding my vocabulary. : )

Sa'ar, Thank you for the picture, that one seems to be closer to head height than shoulder, I wonder if anyone makes a 65" barrow handle. I have seen some online made of hickory, I'm going to try to find one of those, since it seems to be the material of choice for wasters.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
View user's profile Send private message
Henrik Granlid




Location: Sweden
Joined: 17 Apr 2012

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject: Q         Reply with quote

The most interesting thing about the "shoulder height" dimensions (four ft/120cm) is that those are the same as a Jo, a japanese walking staff, used as a weapon in certain schools of martial arts (aikido amongst others).

I would imagine the techniques used with the pilgrim-staff would be similar to those of Jo and Quarter Staff
View user's profile Send private message
Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are there any pictures from the mid 13th century of these staffs. I'd be interested in making one for myself...
http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are there any pictures from the mid 13th century of these staffs. I'd be interested in making one for myself...
http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,900

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The earliest I find here http://tethys.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/realonline/ are ca. 1439. That's just one database, though. I recall seeing earlier depictions.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Thu 03 May, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

also note the existance of irish shilleagh (spelling?) stick fighting

but overall the fact the pilgrams staff is 5 foot as opposed to 6 wont be a huge issue ifyour decently trained in quaterstaff.
and those little nobbles will help concentrate the force of any blows dished out as well,
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 456

PostPosted: Fri 04 May, 2012 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik, my dad has been practicing ki aikido for 35 years, and when we visit we often have (very) controlled sparring. When he has the bokken and I have my PHA greatsword waster, he doesn't have a prayer. But when he pulls out the Jo, forget it, With the ability to invert striking ends, the Jo usually wins, despite the longer reach of the greatsword.

The only times I've been able to beat the Jo, are by going to half sword and basically using the waster as Jo itself, but its still very iffy. Binding at the cross sometimes can be effective, but if it isn't done right the other end of the staff will be headed my way. It's a lot of fun! He's coming up this weekend actually. I'll have to show him this thread, I bet he'd like to see a Pilgrims Staff.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,146

PostPosted: Fri 04 May, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, I don't actually think the knobs have anything to do with martial ability. I think they're just places to rest your hand on when standing and leaning on the staff. They are too small to protect the hand from a weapon coming down the haft the way a cruciform hilt would, and there's no need protect you from sliding your hand onto a sharp blade the way a gladius or viking guard would.

I'm not denying the potential for using this as a weapon just the same as with any staff. I'm just don't think the knobs were designed with fighting in mind, but rather for day-to-day walking (the staff's primary use).

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Henrik Granlid




Location: Sweden
Joined: 17 Apr 2012

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 04 May, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efd4pTzZPZo

and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21y32ASY3Sw&feature=related

No knobs at all.

A comment on the ki aikido and bokken, what school does he use? Osensei or Saito? Or Iaido, Kenjutsu, Kendo etc. ? After the death of the founder, only Morihiro Saito had the original weapons of the founder, you might find it interesting (although not necessarily harder) to try your hand fighting different japanese swordschools =) But all in all, I do agree, a longsword has the reach as well as the versitility over a katana.

But yeah, a Jo, a straight walking stick, so much beautiful, beautiful pain ^^


The thing with the knobs is that, even if they weren't intended for violent use, a wooden ball at the end of a stick deals more damage than merely the stick (lest the ball breaks and disperses the power)
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Pilgrims staff?
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum