A Brief History of Devilsticks or Flower Sticks

The Devilsticks history can be traced back 200 years to China. Devil Sticks (AKA: flower sticks and juggling sticks) were used as props in the dances.

The first Devilsticks were created out of bamboo. The flower stick was made of two control sticks and the bigger “devil stick” was covered with cloth. A weighted end was created using cloth. Lots of the juggling stick tricks that took place in the dance were done to make the pom poms and ends spin to look like flowers opening.

Theory 2: The Greeks

An alternate Devil Sticks history predicts the use of Devil Sticks at least two thousand years ago based on the language root of the original word.  According to this theory, the sticks were called diablo sticks before the name was changed by the Europeans.  It is also predicted that the sticks were wooden.  The word “diablo” is a common miss-spelling of the word “diabolo”, which is Greek, roughly meaning “across throw”. This could have been taken further to become “devil sticks”.  It could have been the Greeks.

Theory 3: The Egyptians

Juggling Sticks have been used for many many hundreds of years.

They started in Africa earlier than 3000 B.C, there are pictures of juggling sticks on friezes (a wide horizontal band of sculpted or painted decoration, especially on a wall near the ceiling.) found in Egyptian tombs. Juggling historians have hypothesised that the devil sticks / juggling sticks / flower sticks followed the Silk Road from Cairo to China.

By 2000 B.C., the juggling sticks were being used in China. Marco Polo may even have brought juggling sticks to the west from the China. Flower sticks have been juggled in Europe since the Renaissance.