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Speaker's Staff

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RTCFA No. NA0199
Speaker's Staff
Artist: Chuck Heit Birth: b. 1957
Wood, 35 x 5 in.

Geographic Location: British Columbia
Region: Kispaiox
Group / Tribe: Gitxsan

When we opened the /*Sacred Circles*/ exhibition in Kansas City [1977], this "talking stick” was a gift to me from the Gitxsan carving group in Hazelton, BC. Around twenty Gitxsan dignitaries performed an opening for the exhibition, at the end of which they passed this speaker’s staff to me. Over the years, the staff has seasoned, its patina gradually turning from white, newly cut cedar, to a golden brown. To me, it embodied a process of evolution by which a fresh new exhibition gradually turned over the years into a memory of things past. I hope it is remembered as an educational scepter modestly presiding over a museum’s seminal display to the greater glory of American Indian art. —Ted Coe <%include Links.Imagev3(class=>'floatright',caption=>'Ted Coe with /*Speaker Staff*/, c. 1977.')%>