Native Indian Art - Canadian Native Art - Talking Stick

Artist: Troy Roberts
Tribal affiliation: Kwakiutl

Talking sticks usually resemble miniature totem poles that display an array of crests.

At the turn of the century, as well as today, the "chief's talking stick" was the piece of regalia most closely associated with the person who spoke for the Chief, called "the Speaker." The Speaker was was an extremely important hereditary position to hold within the numaym. The Speaker was so closely associated with the essential power of the numaym that he would live with his numaym Chief in the same house.

When in use, the Talking Stick (or staff) was held by the Speaker or the Chief when either spoke, and then used for emphasis by pounding it against the floor or jabbing it into the ground

THE NUMAYM is described as a set of ranked positions, each associated with a name and certain privileges. These were positions in a literal sense in the seating arrangements at ceremonial events, and they governed the order in which their occupants were served food at feasts and received gifts at potlatches.

Carved from yellow cedar with abalone inlay, acrylic paint and varathane
- all Canadian products -


Measurements of finished piece
Height 75" including stand, 69" without stand
Width - 3"
I Wingspan - 15"
Depth - 7" including whale fin on staff
Base - 17" wide
I 20 1/2" long I 6 " thick