This is a handmade broom created in the altar whisk style, and is practical and beautifully unique with a braid of broomcorn.
Brooms are essential to one’s home, whether it’s a cabin or a castle. The besom (bee’-some) is the original broom, made of birch twigs, ash handle, and willow binding. Large bird wings were used to sweep hearths. Broomcorn (Sorghum vulgare), used in modern brooms, comes from Africa. The first written description of it was in Italian in the 1500s. Ben Franklin was overseas numerous times in the 1700s and was so impressed by broomcorn, he introduced the seed to America.
The image of a woman riding a broomstick was first depicted in a medieval manuscript in 1451. It is interesting to note that the woman looked like a peasant, though she was described as a witch. Also, a French warlock in 1453 gave the first confession of riding a broom for magical purposes.
A besom is a witch’s tool, and a broom purifies space. It is a powerful apparatus. Brooms can open and close ritual circles. Sprinkle salt and sweep it to dispel negativity. Place a broom near a threshold, like a window or door, for protection. Jumping over a broom with another person in marriage is a tradition begun in Africa.
A handmade broom keeps an old art alive. It connects us with the past, with the people. And as Goethe once said, Let everyone sweep his own front door and the whole world will be clean!
The broomcorn I use is bought from a supplier located in Texas, and each broom is made by hand in my living room. The ingredients are broomcorn, red nylon twine, and hemp twine.
Length: approximately 16 inches
Width at widest point: approximately 3.5 inches