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Encyclopedia > Broom

A broom is a cleaning tool consisting of stiff fibres attached to, and roughly parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. In the context of witchcraft, "broomstick" is likely to refer to the broom as a whole. A smaller whisk broom or brush is sometimes called a duster. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2112 × 2816 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2112 × 2816 pixel, file size: 2. ... Cleanliness is the absence of dirt, including dust, stains and a bad smell. ... A modern hammer is directly descended from ancient hand tools A tool or device is a piece of equipment which typically provides a mechanical advantage in accomplishing a physical task, or provides an ability that is not naturally available to the user of a tool. ... A right circular cylinder An elliptic cylinder In mathematics, a cylinder is a quadric surface, with the following equation in Cartesian coordinates: This equation is for an elliptic cylinder, a generalization of the ordinary, circular cylinder (a = b). ... Look up handle in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Witchcraft (disambiguation). ... Paintbrush redirects here. ... A Duster can be: Something to sweep dust A dustrag or cloth used to remove dust from furniture or other objects A feather duster A smaller whisk broom or brush sometimes called a duster. ...


History of broom design

Women using brooms made from bambusa (1899)
Women using brooms made from bambusa (1899)

Brooms have undergone significant changes in their construction, ever since they evolved from ad-hoc use of branches and bundles of various natural fibres. Originally, all brooms were round, a shape that is easy to construct but inefficient for actually sweeping. Brooms could be attached to a handle, either short for a whisk broom, or long for a broom used to sweep the floor or fireplace. The word for the tool was originally besom, broom simply being the material of which it was normally made. The fibres used in modern brooms are from broom corn," actually a variety of millet, and are unusually well suited to brooms. They are long, straight, durable, and bound together in the plant. The most recent major change is the flat broom, invented by the Shakers in the 1800s, which has far more width for pushing dirt and nearly all brooms produced today are flat brooms, the round broom being essentially obsolete. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Genera Many, see text Bamboos are a group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae. ... Genera Argyrocytisus:1 species Cytisus: about 30-35 species Genista: about 90 species Petteria: 1 species Podocytisus: 1 species Retama: 4 species Spartium: 1 species Ref: ILDIS Version 6. ... Binomial name Panicum miliaceum L. Proso millet is also known as common millet, broom corn, hog millet or white millet. ... Pearl millet in the field The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Brooms and witchcraft

Main article: Besom broom

Brooms have long been connected with witchcraft, almost universally portrayed as medieval-style round brooms and associated with female witches. Despite the association with women, in 1453, the first known case of claiming to have flown on a broomstick is recorded, confessed by the male witch Guillaume Edelin.[1]. There are, however, prior records of witches flying on sticks or similar objects, usually that had been first greased with a magical flying ointment. Besom brooms are the broom traditionally associated with witches and are traditionally made of twigs tied to a larger pole. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Witchcraft. ... April 2 - Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Ä°stanbul). ... Flying ointment, also known as witches flying ointment, green ointment, magic salve and lycanthropic ointment, is a hallucinogenic ointment said to be used by witches in the Early Modern period. ...

Anecdotally, the broom served another purpose during periods of persecution. Witches and other magic practitioners would disguise their wands as broom sticks to avoid suspicion. It is also a tradition that brooms have been used by some as receptacles to harbor temporarily a particular spirit. The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse Magic and sorcery are the influencing of events, objects, people and physical phenomena by mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. ...

Today the broom is included in lists of ritual tools in many pagan guide books, where it is often referred to as a besom. A broom is sometimes laid at the opening of some covens' rossets. Representing the Element of Air, brooms are utilized in the purification of areas. They are used to sweep ritual circles clean of negative energy. The high priestess or high priest walks clockwise, traces the cast circle and sweeps with the broom a few inches off the ground. This practice can be used in addition to or in place of incense to purify a ritual space. It is often employed by those allergic to incense, and during rituals practiced in smoke free areas. It is also a technique associated with "kitchen witches" who use what's on hand to work spells. Look up pagan, heathen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Besom brooms are the broom traditionally associated with witches and are traditionally made of twigs tied to a larger pole. ... Coven or covan was originally a late medieval Scots word (c1500) meaning a gathering of any kind, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. ... Incense is a preparation of aromatic organic materials, intended to release fragrant smoke when burned. ...

In Literature and Poetry

-In the Bible, Luke 15:8 "The Parable of the Lost Coin", the broom is used as a symbol for women's work. "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?"

-Poets use the broom in metaphor making. In one of Emily Dickinson's poems she implies that Mother Nature ". . .sweeps with many colored brooms, and leaves the shreds behind. . ."

-In many works of fiction, broomsticks are pictured as a means of air transport for witches. A broom is usually flown with the brush behind the rider. // Fiction (from the Latin fingere, to form, create) is the genre of imaginative prose literature, including novels and short stories. ... Aviation or Air transport refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ...

-The Harry Potter book series is distinctive in portraying magical flying brooms as used equally by both sexes, and especially prominently by Quidditch players as analogues of polo ponies. This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... In the fictional universe of the Harry Potter series, created by author J. K. Rowling, magical flying broomsticks are one of the forms of transportation for wizards and witches, as well as used for magical games like Quidditch. ... Quidditch Through the Ages In the fictional Harry Potter universe developed by J. K. Rowling and portrayed in the internationally bestselling series of novels and in the film series, Quidditch is an extremely rough but very popular semi-contact sport played by wizards and witches on flying broomsticks using four...

  • Many toys and costume accessories have been made in the form of brooms.

-In Fantasia, Mickey Mouse, as The Sorcerer's Apprentice, brings a broom to life to do his chore of filling a well full of water. The broom overdoes its job and when chopped into pieces, each splinter becomes a new broom that flood the room until Yen Sid stops them. The brooms have had recurring cameos in Disney media, mostly portrayed as janitors, albeit not out of control or causing chaos such as in the original appearance. This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, the third in the Disney animated features canon, which was a Walt Disney experiment in animation and music. ... Mickey Mouse is an Academy Award-winning comic animal cartoon character who has become an icon for The Walt Disney Company. ... The Sorcerers Apprentice is the English name of both an 1897 symphonic poem by Paul Dukas (Lapprenti sorcier in French), and of a 1797 ballad by Goethe (Der Zauberlehrling in German), which inspired the musical work. ... Yen Sid is the name of the sorcerer in the The Sorcerers Apprentice segment of Walt Disneys 1940 film, Fantasia. ...

In Cultural Tradition

- An African American wedding tradition incorporates the use of the broom. The custom is called "jumping the broom." During the years of slavery in the United States, some slave owners would not let their slaves marry in a church ceremony. Instead a broom was placed across a doorway. The bride and groom jumped over it into their new life as a married couple. Today the custom incorporates a broom decorated to the bride's specifications, and it becomes a wedding keepsake.

- The M├ętis people of Canada have broom dancing in their cultural heritage. There are broom dancing exhibitions where people show off their broom dancing skills. The lively broom dance involves fast footwork and jumping.

Other use

  • Brooms are sometimes put to punitive use, such as a caning or a birching.
  • In baseball, when the home team is close to accomplishing a sweep (having won the first two games of a three-game series or first three games of a four-game series), some fans will bring brooms to the ballpark and brandish them as a way of taunting the visiting team.
  • Because of their similarities to fighting staves, broomsticks may be used as weapons by those trained in staff martial arts techniques.

Caning in British slang refers to consuming large amounts of intoxicants. ... Birching is corporal punishment with a birch rod, typically a spanking (i. ... A view of the playing field at Busch Memorial Stadium, St. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Sweep may be any of the following: Look up Sweep in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


  1. ^ Man, Myth and Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural. 1970, edited by Richard Cavendish.

Dundes, A. (1996) "Jumping the Broom": On the origin and meaning of an African American Wedding Custom. The Journal of American Folklore. 109 (433) p.324-329.Retrieved on May 19, 2007 from the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Library at http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.jhu.edu

Gabriel Dumont Institute. (2001). Broom Dance, Metisfest 2001. Retrieved on May 18, 2007 from http://www.metismuseum.ca The Virtual Museum of Metis History and Culture. Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research.

See also

A mop in a bucket with a wringer. ...

External links

  • A history of brooms's use in witchcraft
  • Unclean Sweep
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botanical.com - A Modern Herbal | Broom - Herb Profile and Information (2813 words)
In the Broom the stigma lies in the midst of the five anthers of the longer stamens, and when a bee visits the flower those of the shorter explode and disperse their pollen on the bee pressing upon the closed edges of the keel petal.
The Broom is the badge of the Forbes.
Broom tops are used in the form of decoction and infusion, often with squill and ammonium and potassium acetate, as a feeble diuretic, generally in dropsical complaints of cardiac origin.
Broom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (644 words)
Brooms could be attached to a handle, either short for a whisk broom, or long for a broom used to sweep the floor or fireplace.
The fibres used in modern brooms are from "broom corn," actually a variety of sorghum, and are unusually well suited to brooms.
Brooms are sometimes put to punitive use, such as a caning or a birching.
  More results at FactBites »



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