Travelers on Interstate 90 near Chamberlain, South Dakota are often delighted by a beautiful 50 foot tall sculpture of a Native American woman located on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River between exits 263 and 265.
This amazing work of art is called Dignity and represents the courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota. Sculptor Dale Lamphere, who designed the stunning statue, said when it was dedicated, “My hope is that the sculpture might serve as a symbol of respect and promise for the future.” The statue does that very well while also reminding us that even in today’s world, South Dakota’s Native cultures remain alive, standing with dignity despite all the hardships thrust upon them.
It is certainly an unforgettable sight. The woman in the statue wears a typical Native American dress of the 1850s and holds a quilt featuring 128 stainless steel blue diamond shapes that are designed to flutter in the wind. During the day her quilt, meant to represent respect, honor, and admiration in Native American culture, flashes in the sunlight. At night, LED lights cause the diamond shapes to glow, casting a peaceful presence easily seen from the highway.
When Lamphere was creating the sculpture, he combined the faces of three Native American models ages 14, 29, and 55 to perfect the face of Dignity. One has to be very blind not to see the beauty in it.
Dignity is located at the Chamberlain Interstate Welcome Center, at mile marker 264, and is accessible by visitors going in both directions. The next time you are traveling through the Dakotas, make it a point to stop and pay your respects to Dignity. I think you will come away somewhat changed by the experience.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. This is one of the few books I have left over with the original cover, before I commissioned Elizabeth Mackey to redo the covers for the entire series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high cost of shipping books to Canada and other countries, printed books can only be sent to US addresses.
Thought For The Day – If you see me smiling, it’s because I’m thinking of doing something bad. If you see me laughing, it’s because I already did it.