Joe Hugga Dana, Penobscot is an exceptional chip carver and artist. He is the son of Stan Neptune and was taught by his father to chip carve. Stan is the leading authority on Maine Indian chip carving, root clubs and walking sticks. In the process of learning Penobscot myths, history, legends and stories from Senabeh, a religious elder and root club carver, Stan picked up chip carving.
This stick is 14" long and about 1.25" in diameter.
Talking sticks were used in tribal council meetings, the only one who could speak was the one holding the talking stick. Talking sticks were decorated, but only here in Maine do the designs include chip carving. Chip carving is unique to the North East among Native Americans. The designs on this stick are all very traditional motifs and traditionally carved.
This is a chief's head talking stick. Chiefs wore full feathered headdresses and here in the Northeast those feathers stand straight up around and encircle the head. Braves/warriors wore only one or two feathers in their headdress. On the back of the stick, and framing the center chip-carved diamond triangle there are ash branches with chip carved leaves- ash is a sacred tree to the NE Native Americans. On the side, Hugga incorporates his very current double curve motif into this stick's design, double curves are also an important NE Indian motif. Hugga has signed this on the back with his maker's mark; a lightning bolt
The chip carved leaves you see on the branch on the back of this stick are similar in Senabeh and Stan Neptune's work. The Brown ash tree figures in the Penobscot creation myth... the Penobscot's were made by an arrow piercing the brown ash tree and the splinters became the people. Please check out all the pics in the slide show to see several traditional designs around this stick and to see the full photo displayed.