about the Message Stick

“The Message Stick is made of local mulga. It was cut down with a tommy axe then smoothed down with broken bottle glass, then sanded with fine paper. The designs represent a group of people, could be at the conference, or a community, etc. the angular bit is a table or building, so people talking around a table or gathered in a building to communicate with each other etc. The waterhole with animal tracks presents the living natural world and life giving water and the links between the two. The mountains represent the earth and its landforms. The designs are burnt on with a hot wire. The wood won’t need any treatment probably as it is seasoned, a little furniture wax at most. Usually people handling it will leave enough oil on it. Do not put linseed oil on it, horrible stuff. From Badger, Bilyara and Phillip who all helped make it, and me who bossed them.”


Message Stick Artists – Mr Badger Bates, Mr Bilyara Bates and Mr Phillip Bates