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Offering to The Sun
14 1/2" h x 40" w x 14 1/2" d
Ed.1/15 2012 - Bronze
Winner of the -
* The Anne Marion/Best of Show,
*Gold Medal for Sculpture, and
*The Ray Swanson Award, at the
48th Annual Cowboy Artists of America Show, 2013.
The Sun Dance is a religious ceremony that is practiced by many of the Native American peoples. In the "Offering to the Sun", I am showing part of the Blackfoot ceremony. It consists of four to five days of dancing, praying, fasting, and offerings. The dancers are pierced in the chest and fastened to pegs and rawhide thongs which are attached to a center pole and in some cases pierced in the back and attached to buffalo skulls. In the meantime, he is dancing, fasting and denying himself water, which eventually causes visions, physical and mental exhaustion and sometimes unconsciousness. The offering of their bodies as a personal sacrifice in this ceremony is given for many personal reasons, but mostly it is a sacrifice for their community or personal family.
In the sculpture "Offering to the Sun" it depicts the moment when the dancer after many days of fasting and dancing finally pulls the pegs and rawhide thong loose from his back and collapses in exhaustion. While sitting on the ground in total exhaustion he continues to blow his eagle bone whistle and falls into the vision world.
The sage bands are wrapped around his head, arms and legs. Other than that he is only wearing his breach cloth and eagle bone whistle. His body is painted white and marks are made on his body representing the sun, moon and stars.