Birching donkey

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A big and crude-looking wooden horse (a birching donkey?) exhibited at the Foltermuseum Freiburg, Germany.

Birching donkey is a large device used as restraint for punishment in another time. In the range of implements, a birching is relatively severe. This occurs because a birch is a group of slender switches, typically wound together. A birching may seem mild at first, but becomes severe as the slender reeds start to cut into the skin.

In judicial punishment in the 19th century, it was common to place the naked person to be punished over a birching donkey or birching horse. The naked person's wrists and ankles were attached to a donkey with leather restraint to keep the person in position. Birching typically produced a bloody red posterior for the spankee. The image of a person, typically a young man, over a birching donkey is an emotional symbol, not something in use today.


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