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Talking Stick Gallery

Talking Deer Stick
Based on a pictograph from Garrick Mallory, originally from Henry Schoolcraft, of a pronghorn antelope with speech issuing from its mouth. There are two masks on opposing sides of the gourd: one somber, and one laughing.

Gourd, California bay laurel, leather, beetle shells, malachite, turquoise, quartz crystals, copper, nickel, 3 dwt. fine gold. Rattles inside the gourd are Mother Lode quartz, seeds, bits of metal, and corn gifted from the Hopi to the community of San Juan Ridge.

pronghorn-stick1 pronghorn-stick2

Clown Stick
This stick has three masks painted on the gourd. Gemstones set in silver affixed with copper tacks represent the colors of the five Dhyani Buddhas.

California bay laurel, gourd, emerald, garnet, topaz, blue zircon, spinel, fine silver, sterling silver, 3 dwt. fine gold, turpuoise, copper, beads, quartz crystals, leather, rabbit fur, flicker feather.

clownstick-1 clownstick-2 clownstick-3

Sea Stick
Envisioned to summon the energy of the sea as a  piling of an old wharf. The piling is adorned with starfish in fine silver and fine gold, pearls, shells, and beach stones.

Manzanita, fishing line, gourd, freshwater pearls, sky topaz, azurite, amber, 3 dwt. fine gold, fine silver, copper, peridotite, jade, beach stones and shells, abalone.

octopus-stick Closeup of the Octopus Stick

Sky stick
The Sky Stick portrays the stars of ten constellations (Ursa minor, Ursa major,  Cassiopea, Lyra, Hercules, Corona borealis, Draco, Bootes, Leo, Cygnus) as fine silver, yellow brass, and red brass, set into the stick. Symbols of the seven planets are cast in the appropriate metals (the Mars symbol, made of iron, is forged, and mercury is set as an amalgam set into its symbol cut from high carat gold). Twelve zodiacal symbols are burned into the wood. The shakers are a variety of coins.

Manzanita, leather, coins, red brass, yellow brass, copper, silver.

starstick1 starstick2 Corona borealis starstick-4

Serpent Stick
Moses raised a bronze serpent to protect his people from a plague of fiery serpents. Gnostics interpret this passage as a prophecy of the coming Messiah, hence Jesus is sometimes represented as a serpent on a cross. The Serpent, of course, has his own ideas, offering knowledge and secrets, and a way out of the Garden. Shakers are lignum vitae.

Manzanita, bronze, brass, lignum vitae, deer skin.


Sometimes we pass a wampum belt instead of a stick. Laura Pendell models a short wampum belt, and Rob Matthews holds a longer belt in the Oraculon.


Here are three talking sticks by Santa Fe artist and medicine teacher Requa Tolbert: Water, Fire, and Air.
















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