When Bloom's coronation and apotheosis in Circe devolve into regicide and immolation, a group of "IRISH EVICTED TENANTS" holding shillelaghs threaten to beat him with a different kind of rustic weapon: "Sjambok him!" The sjambok is a stout South African whip made of rhinoceros or hippopotamus hide. The appearance of this highly exotic word represents one more way in which the events of the Second Boer War were still resonating in Irish consciousness in 1904. In particular, the incident suggests a parallel between the British scorched-earth policy against the Boers and the waves of eviction that drove Irish peasants off the land in the 19th century.

John Hunt 2021

An antique sjambok fashioned from animal hide. Source:

A modern sjambok fashioned from flexible plastic. Source: