A cane is a type of straight stick made from tall, perennial grasses with flexible, woody stalks.

The type of material used to make canes is usually hollow or porous and lighter than regular wood. Some of these materials include Spanish cane, bamboo and rattan. Depending on strength, canes can be fashioned for many purposes, such as: making furniture like chairs and tables; making walking sticks; making instruments of corporal punishment.

A large, thorny birch rod was the favorite implement in the Victorian and Edwardian era, followed by the cane. However in photography it was used not often. The pioneers of disciplinary photography concentrated mainly on form (as opposed to the effects of punishment), with much attention paid to pose, setting, and props. Aesthetically pleasing fantasy images of corporal punishment, as well as nude studies, were popular. Harsh realism was not. It is rare to find a vintage photograph that shows expressions of genuine pain or the lacerations inflicted by the birch, cane, or whip.

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