A weapon of African origin that is very much like a cross between a whip, a baton, and a sword. It is primarily used in non-lethal roles such as self-defense, crowd control, herding, and other methods of subjugating people or animals that don't fully agree with your intentions. Its long, flexible "blade" combined with its light weight allows for lightning-quick blows from a safe distance. This makes it an ideal weapon for fending off deadly snakes as well as the occasional brute who you really would not like to be within arm's reach of.

Sophisticated fighting techniques have been created from the mastery of the sjambok. There is probably a stance, strategy, and whipping/striking method for almost any situation or target. Since almost any non-lethal weapon is lethal when used in the correct way, the sjambok is also a potent means of choking or strangulation, and thus, when done for a significant amount of time, a potent means of killing your target.

Most modern renditions of the sjambok are made of plastic, and although I'm unsure as to what the ancient forms of the sjambok were made of, I suspect that it's some fairly flexible metal or something else that's bendable yet fairly rigid.

Update : With the help of achan I have concluded that the ancient sjambok was made of the hide of an elephant or other animal.