The talking stick was used in Native North American tribes at council meetings. It was used for courtesy and respect to not allow the interruption of a chief when he or she was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the next council member who wished to speak. The stick was a ceremonial item and was often decorated with eagle feathers and crystals to show its significance. In more modern times, it serves more or less the same purpose often used in families, or gatherings of any size to encourage common courtesy and to cultivate respect for those speaking. Unless you have the talking stick, you cannot speak out and therefore must listen to what is being said. A great tool to have even today.
We do no harm to the trees that are used for our talking sticks; only already dead wood is harvested.