Native American Ceremonial Sticks
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There are many types of sticks used in Native American ceremonies. The hai detoi is a stick of madrona wood with feathers on one end and a flint on the other – it is used by a Pomo (Northern California) shaman during healing ceremonies.
A hatcamuni is an Acoma Pueblo prayer stick. It is made by the individual (or an individual’s family member) that is requesting healing. It is cut from a live willow or cedar, may be notched or painted and might have feathers attached to it.
The Zuni bundle up a group of prayer sticks, kaetcine, offer them up to the spirits and then bury or deposit them in a prescribed location.
Lakota Horse Stick – To the Lakota and other Plains Indians, the horse was a working partner that provided transportation when moving, and a heroic companion on hunts and raids and in battle.
When a warrior lost a horse, he would honor the horse by making a horse stick. The effigy would represent the likeness of the horse and be decorated with markings and adornments that recounted the life and achievements of the horse.
The horse stick would then be carried by the warrior in dances to pay tribute to the great horse before other tribal members, most notably those of the Horse Society. By making and carrying the stick, it was hoped that the spirit of the horse would follow the warrior in life and give him added strength and power.
The horse stick was usually made of wood and decorated with paint, leather, fur, feathers, beads and other items.