AskDefine | Define bastinado

Dictionary Definition

bastinado n : a cudgel used to give someone a beating on the soles of the feet v : beat somebody on the soles of the feet [also: bastinadoes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

bastonada (confer French bastonnade), from baston.

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. A blow with a stick or cudgel.
  2. A sound beating with a stick or cudgel, specifically: A form of punishment among the Turks, Chinese, and others, consisting in beating an offender on the soles of his feet.

Verb

  1. To punish someone by beating someone on the bare soles of the feet, usign a stick or truncheon.

References

Extensive Definition

Foot whipping, variously known as bastinado, falanga (phalanga), and falaka (falaqa), is a form of torture wherein the human feet are beaten with an object such as a cane or rod, a club, a piece of wood, or a whip. It is a form of punishment often favoured because, although extremely painful, it leaves few physical marks, though evidence can be detected via ultrasound technology.
The prisoner may be immobilized before application of the beating by tying, securing the feet in stocks, locking the legs into an elevated position, or hanging upside-down. The Persian term falaka referred to a wooden plank which was used to secure the feet prior to beating.
Foot whipping is effective due to the clustering of nerve endings in the feet and the structure of the foot, with its numerous small bones and tendons. The wounds inflicted are particularly painful and take a long time to heal, rendering it a redoubtable deterrent but impractical as punishment for subordinates. Some point out that the prominent display of the offender's bare feet contains an element of punitive humiliation as well. This is especially true in Arabic cultures, where it is considered humiliating to bare the soles of one's feet.
This punishment has, at various times, been used in China, as well as the Middle East. It was used throughout the Ottoman Empire (including the Balkans). Foot whipping had been, until recently, utilized as a form of corporal punishment in schools in the Middle East.http://www.ecstagony.com/eng/info/artinst/bastifala.htm It was convenient in that it could be employed on both male and female students in lieu of other forms of punishment considered inappropriate for female students (such as caning of the buttocks). Foot whipping employed on students was not as harsh as the kind employed on adults, in that only a long ruler was used to firmly slap the soles of the feet, delivering a less agonising blow but sufficient to cause pain.

Foot whipping in history

Foot whipping in modern times

Foot whipping in popular culture

References

bastinado in German: Bastonade
bastinado in Italian: Bastinado
bastinado in Polish: Falaka
bastinado in Swedish: Falaka
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1