March 19, 2013

Statues planned for Dakota 38

Photos sought for 38 Dakota warriors hanged at Mankato

Sculptor hopes to create busts to honor them

By Christina Rose
Larry had long known the story told by his grandmother of her grandfather’s death. He had also seen photos of the Dakota 38, but the victims of the hanging were never identified. It wasn’t until a friend came upon a book called “Plains Warrior” by Albert Morris, that he found names to some of the photos. Finally, Redwing was able to put a face to the name, and he saw his great-great-great grandfather for the first time.

Larry’s brother, Ronald Redwing, who works at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, had several conversations about the photo until they decided it might be nice if they had a bust made from the photo. They contacted Austin Glendenning, a sculptor from the university, to make one. Ronald and Larry were so thrilled with the likeness, “We showed it to the Chairman and then the Tribal Council. “The Chairman asked if we could do all 38, so I made up a proposal for the tribe,” Red Wing said.

The bust was made of clay which is fired with a bronze finish. “It was so big, life-size. On the spot the Tribal Council and Chairman wanted all Dakota 38 plus the two who were brought back from Canada and hung later,” Larry said.

Artist Austin agreed to create the busts at a very minimal cost. Red Wing reported that there is only one problem, “We only have 19 pictures.” The small group is dedicated to tracking down family members of the Dakota 38, plus two. Redwing hopes the families will step forward and hopefully, will have photos or drawings of their lost relatives. In case they don’t, Red Wing said, “We all carry traits of them, so then what we are looking for are the male grandchildren of the ones whose names are listed below.”
Comment:  For more on the Mankato or Dakota 38, see Twin Cities: Dakota War = "Genocide" and Mankato Memorial Says "Forgive Everything."

Below:  Mahpi’ya Al’Nazin (He Who Stands on the Clouds).

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