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France’s Makhila Walking Stick Is a Symbol of Prestige

The makhila is much more than a walking stick. It’s a work of art and a weapon, too. Unscrew the handle, and you’ll find a forged spike inside. That said, most people carry a makhila in peace, or display the beautifully-crafted object in their homes. Liza Bergara is the seventh generation in her family to make makhilas at her family’s shop is in the French Basque country. Wood for the walking sticks comes is harvested from medlar trees planted by her great-grandfather. A makhila is typically bestowed upon someone to mark an achievement, and French president Emmanuel Macron, Charlie Chaplin and Pope John Paul II are among the celebrated people who have been honored with them.

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Larressore, France

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