Friday, 22 August 2008

The Talking Stick

A friend asked me to find a nice stick for him to use as a "Talking Stick" when facilitating meetings for Ecological knowledge gathering and sharing.

A friend at work said she had found an ideal Hazel stick and with a bit of trimming and rubbing with fine wire wool to smooth it, it was just perfect.

The Talking Stick was used by many Native American tribes at council meetings. The chief or leading elder would hold the stick and begin a discussion and when he had finished speaking he would hold out the stick and the person who took the stick had the right to speak while others listened. The stick was often decorated to show its importance and significance.

Using supplies from Waken Tanka Native American Products I decorated the stick.

The rabbit fur on the end of the stick reminds the user that their words must be soft and warm.

I used four different colours of thread in a four-strand round plat and placed four beads onto the thread. The four colours of beads represent the seasons, the main points of the compass and - yellow for sunrise, red for sunset, white for snow and green for the earth.

The shells remind the user that all creation changes - the seasons, people, and the years.

And finally using a thin strip of reindeer hide I attached four feathers also used in traditional decoration.

If anyone knows more about this item any information would be gratefully received.

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