Shrew’s fiddle

A variant on the yoke, this was used to punish quarrelsome women. This punishment was widely used in continental Europe, particularly Germany.

A shrew’s fiddle designed for an individual woman resembled a violin, hence the name. The fiddle would would usually have a chain or a rope attached to the front, so that the unfortunate woman could be paraded through the streets.

The double version was used to punish women who quarrelled with each other. Thus restrained, they would be obliged to face each other until the argument was resolved and they were suitably penitent. This could take some time.

Click on the pictures to see a larger version.


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Last modified 7 November 2011.
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