Dignity of Earth & Sky
Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 7:08PM
Adam Bad Wound in American Indians, Art, Artists, Lakota, National Landmarks

Dignity of Earth and Sky. Image by 'adambadwound' on Instagram.

Without a doubt, this is among the most beautiful sculptures I've ever seen. 

Just before the new year, I was able to see the Dignity Statue (a.k.a. Dignity of Earth & Sky), a 50-foot high stainless steel sculpture on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River near Chamberlain, South Dakota.

The statue was made by South Dakota artist laureate Dale Lamphere and it depicts an indigenous woman receiving a star quilt. According to Lamphere, the sculpture honors the culture of the Lakota and Dakota peoples who are indigenous to South Dakota.

Three Native American women from Rapid City, SD served as the models for the sculpture. The artist began by first drawing the form and then sculpting a one-eighth-scale model. The sculpture was created in an isolated area near the Cheyenne River, east of Rapid City, SD, and later moved to the installation site.

The statue boldly proclaims that South Dakota's Native cultures are alive, standing with dignity.

According to the sculpture's Facebook page, the artist shared this statement:

“Standing at a crossroads, Dignity echoes the interaction of earth, sky and people. It brings to light the beauty and promise of the indigenous peoples and culture that still thrives on this land. The intent is to have the sculpture stand as an enduring symbol of our shared belief that all here are sacred, and in a sacred place.” 

-Dale Lamphere, South Dakota Artist Laureate

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