native american talking stick with sage smudge

Native American Talking Stick

Native Americans had a variety of tools and symbols that helped them manage and continue their culture. One such tool was the Talking Stick.

The talking stick is a ceremonial tool that was used in tribal council meetings. Passing the talking stick from one person to another was a kind and respectful way for individuals to share and collaborate without interruption by others. This tradition was especially effective in keeping disagreements from getting contentious, allowing each person to have a turn at sharing his views without comments, agreement, or heckling from the others that may not agree vocalizing in the group. Some tribes used a “talking feather” a “talking stone” or some other object rather than a decorative stick.

This practice was very helpful as it gave a concrete item for tribal members to hold and engage in conversation of heated matters without it getting unruly or out of hand.

Native Americans used sweat lodges, sage smudges, vision quests, and other experiential methods to develop and fortify their culture according to their spiritual beliefs.

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