Sitting Bull, 2011

A Dakota Indian chief under whom the Sioux tribes united in their struggle for survival on the North American Great Plains, Sitting Bull is remembered as a Holy Man, for his lifelong distrust of white men and his stubborn determination to resist their domination. In 1866 he became principal chief of the northern hunting Sioux, with Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, as his vice-chief. Respected for his courage and wisdom, Sitting Bull was made principal chief of the entire Sioux nation about 1867. Just prior to the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull performed the Sun Dance, and when he emerged from a trance induced by self-torture, he reported that he had seen soldiers falling into his camp like grasshoppers from the sky. His prophecy was fulfilled when Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer rode into the valley and he and all the men under his immediate command were annihilated. The year 1889 saw the spread of the Ghost Dance religious movement, which prophesied the advent of an Indian messiah who would sweep away the whites and restore the Indians’ former traditions. As a precaution, Indian police and soldiers were sent to arrest the chief. Seized on Grand River, Sitting Bull was killed while his warriors were trying to rescue him.

Boosted by structural steel beams, this sculpture will be a magnificent monument when realized in full scale, towering 58 feet in height. However, to date this sculpture has only been fabricated in smaller scale.

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