April 04, 2011

Zoondige-Kwe: Strong Hearted Woman

New Holland statue celebrates women

By Stephen KloostermanThe sculpture features a woman with flowing hair and a robe, and is titled Zoondige-Kwe: Strong Hearted Woman.

“Growing up on the rez, there were a lot of strong women in leadership positions and so on,” Quigno, a member of the Anishinaabe Native American tribe, said of life on an Indian reservation. “My mother was one of those. I didn’t ever want to go to a sculpture class, but she made me go.”

“I made it for women of all ethnicities, to honor them,” he said.
Comment:  "Anishinaabe" is the name of a Native cultural group, not a particular tribe. At least in the US.

This sculpture is reminiscent of Allan Houser's work. To me, it's much superior to statues such as Oh Great Spirit or Black Hawk.

Obviously, it doesn't present a standard Native woman with the usual stereotypes. Rather, the curving lines suggest the idea of flowing. This sense of fluidity and cyclicity--forces flowing in circles, connecting things--is central to the traditional Native worldview.

For more examples of good Native sculptures, see Cherokee Nation Unveils Resurgence Statue and Tonantzin Recognizes Trail of Death.

Below:  "The Brooks family arranged for stone sculptor Jason Quigno to exhibit his sculpture Zoondige-Kwe: Strong Hearted Woman on Eighth Street across from Citizens Bank." (Stephen Kloosterman/The Holland Sentinel)

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