Devil sticks got their name from the Greek
which roughly means to throw across. Devil sticks have been used at different times in a number of places, including India
(where they're still used in military displays), and by the Cherokees
in North America. The oldest known set of devil sticks where found in Egypt, and are roughly 4,500-6,000 years old.
The design is quite simple. There are two round, sticks (the handles), each about a foot and a half long. The third stick is the same, with the addition of weights of some kind (rocks, plastic, etc.) on each end. The sticks are wrapped with a material to add traction between the sticks. Some types of devil sticks have tassels on the ends, and others have flammable ends. (Actually, most devil sticks are flammable. But some are meant to be ignited.) You then take a handle in each hand and hit the middle stick in a way that causes it to spin, flip or whatever you're trying to do. If you're good then you may be able to keep it in the air with just one handle. Fun stuff
Source: devilsticks.net, and Britannica.com, the happiest place on earth.