The talking stick, also called a speaker's staff, is an instrument of aboriginal democracy used by Taino tribes. The talking stick may be passed around a group or used only by leaders as a symbol of their authority and right to speak in public.
In a council circle, a talking stick is passed around from member to member allowing only the person holding the stick to speak. This enables all those present at a council meeting to be heard, especially those who may be shy; consensus can force the stick to move along to assure that the "long winded" don't dominate the discussion; and the person holding the stick may allow others to interject. Talking sticks have high ceremonial and spiritual value, and have proved to be exceedingly useful during current implementations.