The Full Wiki

Broom: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Broomstick redirects here. Distinguish from boomstick.
A broom with bristles made from broom corn.
Sorghum-made brooms with long and short handles

A broom is a cleaning tool consisting of stiff fibres attached to, and roughly parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. It is commonly used in combination with a dustpan.

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.

An old form of broom was the besom, which was made simply of twigs tied to a handle, and was relatively inefficient as a cleaning implement. Flat brooms, made of broom corn[1], were invented by Shakers in the 19th century[2]. Today, they are also commonly made with synthetic bristles. Another common type is the push broom, consisting of a wide brush with short bristles, to which a broomstick is attached at an angle.

Contents

Other uses for brooms

  • 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.
  • During World War Two, American submarine crews would hoist a broom onto their boat's foretruck when returning to port to indicate that they had "swept" the seas clean of enemy shipping. The tradition has been devalued in recent years by submarine crews who fly a broom simply when returning from their boat's shake-down cruise. This tradition no doubt stems from the action of the Dutch admiral Maarten Tromp, who in 1652 tied a broom to his main mast after defeating the British admiral Robert Blake, and claim that he would sweep the British from the seas.

Brooms and witchcraft

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.[3] There are, however, prior records of witches flying on sticks or similar objects, usually that had been first greased with a magical flying ointment.

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.

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.

As a tool of purification, decorative brooms are sometimes hung near doors to cleanse those entering a house.

Brooms in wider culture

In literature and poetry

  • Poets use the broom in metaphor making. In one of Emily Dickinson's poems Mother Nature, Nature ". . .sweeps with many colored brooms, and leaves the shreds behind. . ."
  • In many works of fiction, especially fairy tales, broomsticks are depicted as a means of air transport for witches, with the brush usually facing the posterior direction.
  • The Harry Potter book series depicts magical flying brooms, especially in the context of Quidditch, a fictional sport portrayed in the series. Harry Potter uses the Nimbus Two Thousand, to play Quidditch.
  • In the Broadway musical Wicked, the protagonist of the story, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, enchants a broomstick at the end of act one during the song "Defying Gravity." At the climax of the number, Elphaba dramatically rises above the stage with the broom in hand.
  • In the movie Fantasia, Mickey Mouse, playing 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.
  • A fictional spaceman's tool and movement aid called a "broomstick" occurs in Islands in the Sky and 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke. [1]

In religious and 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.
  • 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?"
  • The Métis 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.

See also

References

  1. ^ "How to make a broom". Ogden Publications, Inc.. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/How-To-Make-A-Broom.aspx. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  2. ^ "Broom". http://www.enotes.com/how-products-encyclopedia/broom. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  3. ^ Man, Myth and Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural. 1970, edited by Richard Cavendish.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BROOM, known botanically as Cytisus, or Sarothamnus, scoparius, a member of the natural order Leguminosae, a shrub found on heaths and commons in the British Isles, and also in Europe (except the north) and temperate Asia. The leaves are small, and the function of carbon-assimilating is shared by the green stems. The bright yellow flowers scatter their pollen by an explosive mechanism; the weight of a bee alighting on the flower causes the keel to split and the pollen to be shot out on to the insect's body. When ripe the black pods explode with a sudden twisting of the valves and scatter the seeds. The twigs have a bitter and nauseous taste and have long had a popular reputation as a diuretic; the seeds have similar properties.

"Butcher's broom," a very different plant, known botanically as Ruscus aculeatus, is a member of the natural order Liliaceae. It is a small evergreen shrub found in copses and woods, but rare Cytisus scoparius, Common Broom. 3rd scale of nature.

1. Two-lipped calyx. 5. Monadelphous stamens.

2. Broadly ovate vexillum or 6. Hairy ovary with the long standard. style, thickened upwards, 3. One of the alae or wings of the and spirally curved.

corolla. 7. Legume or pod.

4. Carina or keel.

in the southern half of England. The stout angular stems bear leaves reduced to small scales, which subtend flattened leaf-like branches (cladodes) with a sharp apex. The small whitish flowers are borne on the face of the cladodes, and are succeeded by a bright red berry.


<< Brooks's

William Broome >>


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Robert Broom article)

From Wikispecies

(1866–1951)


Simple English


A broom is a cleaning tool. It consists 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.

Contents

History of broom design

(1899)]]

Brooms have changed very much in their construction, since they developed from ad-hoc use of branches and bundles of several 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. They are long, straight, durable, and bound together in the plant. The newest 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.

Brooms and witchcraft

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].

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

References

  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.

Other pages

Other websites

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:
bjn:Sasapu








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message