Long before any Europeans landed on the shores of America, Native American’s called this country home. As of writing this post there are 574 federally recognized Native American tribes, and they are spread out all over Alaska and the “lower 48” or continental US.
Each tribe has a rich culture, beautiful art, and different forms of in-tribe government. Whenever a council of leaders was held, everyone was respected and had a voice. So some Indian nations use a ‘talking stick’.
Who ever held the stick could talk and the rest of the assembly would listen. They would pass the stick once they finished and the stick would continue around the room till everyone had a chance to speak and be heard.
So Martin and I made a talking stick. It is traditionally adorned with stripes and sacred colors and feathers. Martin did his thing and despite my best efforts colored the whole thing a marbling of pink, green and orange. We added feathers- orange his favorite color. And that was it- a rather simple craft compared to other weeks.
However, for days after we made this Martin would hold it and tell me something (and I would listen) and then he would pass the stick to me and I would talk (and he would listen).
His talking stick will ‘stick around’ ha! for a while- teaching him about Native Americans and how to listen and respect others at the same time is a multi layered win in my eyes!