Rattan (from the Malay and Indonesian word rotan) is a palm in the tribe Calameae. The term rattan usually refers to the material obtained from the stems of rattan palms. Rattan is native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia, and grows vine-like, scrambling through and over other vegetation. (...)
Rattan material is cylindric, lightweight, and yellowish-beige or light brown colored. Its main difference to other canes such as bamboo is that rattan is spongy-solid, not hollow, and very flexible. It is the special flexibility of rattan that makes it popular for a multitude of uses. (...)
Canes are made from rattan for use as instruments of corporal punishment (see caning). The flexibility of rattan makes it an ideal material for making canes as compared to other materials such as bamboo, which is rigid and breaks easily.
Rattan canes have been used for school corporal punishment mainly in British Commonwealth countries like India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, and also in Britain. They are still used for judicial corporal punishment in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. (more...)
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