Incisions are made to the wild medlar tree while still in the forest which, over time, form the characteristic markings of the makila. The branch is cut in the winter, then the bark is removed in the oven before being dyed in quicklime (calcium oxide), and finally straighted with heat. Once the stick is ready, the bottom part is covered with a brass or silver casing and is carefully engraved by hand with Basque symbols. The upper part is typically adorned with a horn grip attached to a braided leather sleeve and screwed onto the base. In the case of the so-called makila of honor, the grip is made entirely of silver or brass. It is customary to give the makila to someone worthy of honor or distinction. For example, the makila is an appropriate gift for retirements, weddings, birthdays, and any other personal or professional event. Although it is available to all those who deserve one, the makila has found itself in the hands of kings, popes, politicians, artists, athletes, etc. Among the more significant figures to receive one of the Alberdi makilas are the Lehendakaris (presidents of the Basque Country).