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Kokopelli Talking Sticks

Where the Kokopelli legend lives on......
What is a talking stick? The talking stick was used by the Native Americans to manage the conversation in formal and informal meetings. The leader of the meeting, say the Chief, would hold the stick and begin talking. The idea was that no one could talk, unless they held the stick. When he was finished with what he had to say it was passed to the next person, either to his right/left or by rank. That person could then speak as the others had to remain silent. Speakers generally didn't speak longer than necessary, for fear of upsetting the spirits in the stick. Sometimes members would bring their own talking sticks.

The talking stick is a wood stick about a foot long, decorated with symbolic items of nature that have meaning to the owner. Some tribes believe that the animal selected the person and not that the person selects the animal. Some tribes also believe that the name of the child, when it is born, is based on the first thing the baby actually sees. Hence the wide variation in sacred animals. The decorations can be feathers, images, leather, beads, fur, bone, shells, etc. Some folks would put the talking stick out in the full moon light to allow the spirits to enter. Regardless the yucca/sotol wood was once a physical living thing and is now a spiritual tool used for many spiritual reasons.

Today the talking sticks can be used as intended and also make a nice wall decoration and converstaion piece. Some people also use it as a prayer stick and give them to folks who are ill or recovering from an illness as a "get well" gift. It may not be a bad way to teach kids to listen, by using it.

The hand crafted talking sticks that I make are from the Spiritual Yucca or Sotol wood and use decorations as they originally were, however I also woodburn images into the talking stick of a spiritual or petroglyphic nature. Kokopelli is a favorite image to have woodburned into a "lucky" talking stick. Click on the images below to enlarge.

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I can custom decorate the talking sticks with items that have symbolic meaning to you, or decorate them as appropriate, and let the spirits speak for themselves.

Following is a basic list of some animals and their symbolism by some Native Americans. In addition I have a lot of information concerning the symbolism of objects and many other animals. We can work up a few symbols for your talking stick based on your personality..or your interest.

Bear: The bear is usually seen as a symbol of strength, dreaming, and protector/healer/

Beaver: The beaver is usually characterized as a builder.

Buffalo: The buffalo is seen as a provider of all things for living and healing.

Coyote: The coyote is seen as a playful trickster ( not unlike Kokopelli), playful, and humorous.

Deer: Usually symbolize gentleness, kindness, and sometimes protection.

Eagle: The eagle is one of the more recognized symbols that characterize the spiritual connection, and is the protector.

Elk: The elk synbolize power.

Feather: The feather is a universal symbol of spirit and flight.

Fox: The fox is a symbol of intelligence.

Horse: The horse is a symbol of strength and power, both physical and spiritual.

Moose: The moose is a symbol of being headstrong, value and integrity.

Owl: The owl characterizes bad omens as well as being a death messenger, although it is also meant to symbolize truth and wisdom.

Pheasant: The pheasant is a symbol of warning.

Rabbit: The rabbit is a symbol of fear and overcoming limiting beliefs.

Snake: The snake has meaning as transformation (life cycles), as indicating life, death, and rebirth- because of the shedding of the skin. Sometimes it symbolizes a "life force."

Spider: Creative. Spider-woman is a Pueblo goddess.

Wolf: Symbolizes teacher of wisdom and new ideas.


Every talking stick is unique and one of a kind. Each is hand crafted, woodburned, and decorated in it's own unique fashion. All of our talking sticks are created in the desert area along the Colorado River and near Spirit Mountain. We can even woodburn a name on it to make a special gift for someone or yourself. Costs are $29.99 and up. Email me for more details

Kokopelli from Yaxley
PO Box 29824
Laughlin, Nevada 89028

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