Please click on each photo - expands to full size views of the entire stick you will be able to see the entire front and back of the stick - more of the designs as well
This talking stick shows off some of the best work by Joe Hugga Dana, Penobscot chip carver. Under the carved chief's head at the front top of the stick is a small carved turtle. Most of Hugga's talking sticks have either a carved face or a carved turtle on the top of the stick. On this one you have both!
As is traditional, he leaves the bark on some of the top of the stick. The chief wears a true Wabanaki chief's headdress, with feathers standing straight up, encircling the entire head. The feathers are very intricately carved and detailed. Just above the band holding the feathers are chip carved long ovals - the smaller downy feather "bunch" that would be in front of the large, generally eagle feathers. The band had incised triangles with arrowheads on either side.
Under the chief's face is a collar with an incised ash branch on either side of the V neck collar. Under the color is the small carved turtle - with it's accurate 13 scutes on it's shell. On either side of the turtle is a chip carved ash branch. ((Significance of ash branches explained below)
Below the band of bark that is beneath the carved turtle is a traditional triangle, with incised diamonds, chip carved triangles with long chip carved oval dangles - feathers or leaves? Below this is a "morning star" using 4 chip carved triangles to define a square ... with a row of 3 stacked chip carved triangles on either of the top sides. The star connects to a "feathered" arrow, the shave of the arrow has an inner incised zig-zag triangle design. The exterior of the shaft has dangling oval chip carved/incised feathers. At bottom is an incised/chip carved arrowhead. On either side of the top and bottom of the shaft are chip carved ash branches.
On the back at bottom is one of Hugga's stylized double curve motifs - almost Greek key like - at bottom center of this are 2 opposite chip carved triangles - making a diamond shape. From the center of the double curve arises an incised curving vine - with long oval chip carved leaves and the diamonds/stacked chip carved triangles ... This vine is a very current presentation of the very old vine designs found in early chip carved handles on root clubs. Hugga has taken something traditional and made it quite current and very much his own.
This stick is 16" long and 1.5 " in diameter at top and 1.25" diameter on bottom. You will receive information on talking sticks with this piece.
The chip carved leafed branches you see on this stick are similar in Senahbeh, Stan Neptune, Joe Hugga Dana and Erik Sappier's work. These branches and leaves were a subject of conversation between Hugga and Erik recently. They say it is a brown ash which is a sacred tree to the Northeast Native Americans - it figures in the Penobscot creation myth... they were made by the creator's arrow piercing the brown ash tree and the splinters became the people. Please check out all and click to expand to full size all the pics in the slide show to see several traditional designs around this stick.