Monkey stick

This article is about a musical instrument -- for other uses see Mendoza (disambiguation).

The mendoza or mendozer (also monkey stick) is a traditional English percussion instrument, widely used in folk music. The origins of the name are not known but it is believed to stem from an association with one of the many Gypsy, Spanish and Italian buskers who were popular in London in the Victorian era.

This instrument is constructed from a stout pole affixed to a heavy boot at the base. Metal "jingles", commonly beer-bottle tops, are fastened at intervals along the shaft. When played on a wooden floor (common in ale-houses) the sound produced is a combination of a bass drum and tambourine.

The name "monkey stick" comes from a modern practice: in homage to the trained monkeys formerly used by buskers to solicit money from passers-by, a number of musicians have taken to fixing a small stuffed toy monkey to the tops of their instruments.

In Australia, this instrument constructed with beer-bottle tops is known as a "lagerphone." In Newfoundland, it is referred to as an "ugly stick."

It is also occasionally confused with the lesser known "Laser-Flute", created by Sunderland 'hard-man' Spuggy Purvis. The musical instrument also doubles as a self defence weapon, and is primarily found in rough areas of Bondi, such as "The Royal".

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