Out of the Woods

The talking stick, also called a speaker’s staff, is an instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many tribes, especially those of indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast. The talking stick may be passed around a group or used only by leaders as a symbol of their authority and right to speak in public.

Lorna Rennie discovered the joy of working with wood to enhance Mother Nature’s art in the early 90’s and has carried on mostly for her own enjoyment. Resources are readily available on local beaches, she prefers to do everything by hand, even though it takes much longer, because it’s a very satisfying and often meditative process.

The beauty of the wood is enhanced and appreciated by touching and rubbing it. Sometimes the type of wood is known as in arbutus or a maple burl, cottonwood bark, or cedar or juniper by smell, and sometimes it remains a mystery. Whether soft or hard it, most times found wood is extremely beautiful when finished.

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