Bison Ancient Dignity - Unity of the Clans

This sculpture is 15"x16"x8"

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Honoring Native American history and culture in the Great Lakes region, my copper sculpture symbolizes the evolution of both the bison and the people. Researching the old native Copper Culture of Wisconsin and Michigan, I found out that bones from the extinct Bison Occidentalis, were found with a hammered copper pike (spear) in northern Wisconsin. It is embellished with the Iroquois wampum belt representing the Great Law of Peace- written by Iroquois women and the foundation of our US Constitution. The other symbols represent the Medicine Wheel and the Thunders (Grandfathers) who are very loud and bring the rain to Mother Earth. A hand-wrought, cut copper assemblage was welded in both copper wire and hard silver solder using oxy/acetylene gas and then mounted onto a natural stone. Each strand of "wool" was welded on one at a time, trimmed, and then styled.


The Unity of the Clans belt essentially signified the solidarity of the clans. Clan members of the Iroquois Confederation (Haudenosaunee) were to speak with respect and dignity as they sat across from one another at the Council fire. The background of the belt, made of white wampum beads, symbolized peace, unity, and friendship. The double diamond pattern, representing this connection between clan members, were made of purple wampum beads. To all members of the Confederate Iroquois Nation, the people bearing the same name or the same clan shall always recognize and respect one another as relatives, irrespective of their Nation.


To the thunderers we call our Grandfathers, we give greetings and thanks. You have also been given certain responsibilities by the Creator. We see you roaming the sky carrying with you water to renew life. Your loud voices are heard from time to time and for the protection and the medicine you give, we offer our thanksgiving. (Iroquois Prayer of Thanksgiving)