Message Stick equivalent

12 06 2009

How can we do a Message Stick today? It’s pretty impractical…

Back in the “time of Sovereignty,” if you wandered onto the land, you’d be stopped by a warrior asking your business. Then you’d be taken to an elder, and if he was OK with you being on their land, he’d give you a message stick. It’d normally give some idea of who you were, but more importantly why it was OK that you were here. It was a token of consent.

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Well these days, toting a message stick around would be pretty impractical. They could be as tall as you – like a walking stick.

So the idea is that when the Consent Ceremony finally happens, a symbol will be available, for all those who wish to observe the consent protocol. If you couldn’t participate in the ceremony, the symbol would be your way of showing respect, and gaining the consent of the elders. 

So what would be the modern equivalent to a message stick? A lapel pin? A wristband? Bracelet? Neckchain? A pendant to be fitted to any of these?

And what should the symbol be, that can be mass produced for thousands of residents who would want to have such a symbol?

These are decisions which the elders will make when the time comes.

To gain the symbol, one idea is that you would pay for it, and subscribe to an e-list from the elders. This would be a way to respectfully keep your ears open to the elders’ specific concerns about the land, in an ongoing way.



2 responses

10 06 2010
Phil Smeeton

Excellent to see this website Geoff. Keep up the good work

28 06 2018
Vale CJ |

[…] on our quest for a protocol for permission to live here on Whadjuk land. In one sense we do have an answer – wear the red yellow and black as a sign of respect for traditional ownership. It also […]

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