I’ve always admired Native American culture and aesthetics and thought I could make a great cultural themed hiking stick, so I did.
There are 7 (6 distinct) symbols drawn on with metallic ink; a section wrapped with tan rawhide and bordered with black for grasping; seashells, beads, and feathers hanging from the side; two pieces of turquoise embedded; a purple gemstone on the top and it’s a few inches under 6’6″. It’s also been covered with a few coats of polyurethane, except for under the rawhide since the coatings were an afterthought.
The symbols depicted are 2 eagles, a kokopelli, turtle, bear, medicine wheel, and symbol for the sun. Symbols vary in their depictions and meanings depending on the tribe, but the overall meanings for each symbol used are as follows:
Eagle: Our national bird was deeply revered by Native Americans and represented numerous traits, but chief among them were courage, wisdom, and truth. Variations of those traits are also represented like honor, power, and freedom.
Kokopelli: This is a popular symbol even today and originates in the American Southwest. The mythical figure was believed to be the harbinger of Spring, playing his flute and dancing, the Kokopelli would spread joy and harmony while bringing the warmer months with him from village to village. He is also a potent symbol for agriculture and fertility.
Bear: Most animals symbols represent characteristics the animal itself possesses. The bear is the same way representing both strength and courage as well as motherhood (and other things associated with those like childbirth) because of how fiercely mother bears will protect their young.
Turtle: The slow, but steady turtle represents health and long life since they themselves live a long time, some live longer than humans. It’s also representative of protection and the ability to overcome and preserver as the shell allows the turtle to do.
Medicine Wheel: This is a very important symbol containing lots of information. It shows the cardinal directions and also the earth, sky, and circle of life. Each section is also associated with its own animal and color.
Sun Symbol: It obviously symbolizes the sun and played a large role in all ancient cultures since it is literally what makes life on Earth possible. It can represent powerful deities who were the “givers,” or “bringers” of light.
Artist: J.R. Goslant