Speaker's Staff

About this object

History of use

Traditionally a speaker's staff, or talking stick, would be part of the ceremonial regalia of a chief or shaman.

Physical description

Light brown wood staff (speaker's staff) depicting an octopus, a human, a killer whale, an eagle(?), a raven, and a human (from the bottom to the top). The octopus has circle in tapering oval eyes, a beak, and a m-shaped mouth. Below the octopus, there are two longitudinal panels incised with a series of parallel transverse lines, between which, there is a slit cut through the staff, front to back. The human above has circle in tapering oval eyes, a triangular nose, and a downturned mouth. The killer whale has circle in circle eyes, a thick wide open mouth, side fins consisting of a sideways split u, an upturned tail consisting of a pair of circles at either end, and scales along the back. The eagle(?) has circle in tapering oval eyes, a beak, split u ears, and a m-shaped mouth with four-feathered side wings that have an eye in an ovoid at the upper part, and claws at the bottom front. The raven has circle in tapering oval eyes, a long beak, split u ears, side wings that have a chipped-like feature, and claws to the bottom sides. The human at the top has circle in tapering oval eyes, a triangular nose, a downturned mouth and arms bent at the elbows with the hands upward at the front while bending at the knees.