Tchotchke Peepshow: The Hall Of Crap: Get A Clue the great american tchotchke peepshow
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the hall of crap

Stick It To 'Em
Mr. Henry Parsmelian of Beagle Crossing, New Mexico apparently just pulled this item out of his drawers. We were quite impressed...none of our experts had seen a specimen that large in quite a while!

This was revealed to be a Native American Clue Stick. The elaborately decorated wooden cudgel would have been used in a very painful, yet educational, tribal ritual.

Native American Clue Stick

Native American Clue Stick: Value: Sentimental Only

Transcript follows from the May, 2000 Tchotchke Peepshow episode with Expert Euphonia Sandshrew-Machop, in which this item made its debut:

Sandshrew-Machop: And what do we have here?

Guest: My dog brought it in one day...I think he found it out in the backyard. I've been keeping it in a's kinda pretty, huh?

Sandshrew-Machop: Well, indeed, that it is. Your dog...he's a four year old border collie?

Guest: Yeah! did you know that?

Sandshrew-Machop: The bite marks here and here...he's got undeveloped incisors. And a nasty bit of tartar buildup.

Guest: Huh.

Sandshrew-Machop: Mr. Parsmelian, let me begin by telling you that what you have here is of immense historical interest.

Guest: Huh.

Sandshrew-Machop: This item is actually a Native American Clue Stick.


Sandshrew-Machop: Now, I don't want to offend any Native Americans...heaven knows they've had enough trouble with all the high school mascots...and that Pocahontas movie. But this stick was used in a ritual by Indians in the Southwestern United States around the turn of the century. This was a ritual in which a, shall we say, problematic member of the tribe -- also known as an idiot -- would be taken outside the village and soundly beaten with a stick similar to this very one. Commonly made of a heavy oak or ash branch, the Clue Stick was often painted or carved and decorated with beads, feathers and shells.

Guest: Wow.

Sandshrew-Machop: Yes, as a piece of historical reference it is still quite relevant today. In fact, I'd like to see this tradition make a comeback. Particularly for, say, those who make sudden lane changes without turn signals...and who let their small children run around unsupervised at WalMart.

Guest: Wow. Is it worth anything?

Sandshrew-Machop: Not unless you need to start a campfire.

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