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Guardian of Sacred Waters (upon the rocks, she stands in defiance)

Dax Curtis Sterner's avatar Dax Curtis Sterner

This piece was created using mostly salvaged wood and latex house paints. It is a shadow box, consisting of several layers of 1/4 and 3/8 inch plywood cut to shape, painted, and placed to give planes of depth within a shallow wooden frame. The serpent, woman, trees, and lightning are all carved or crafted sculptural elements within the work. The piece measures 30” x 50” x 3” and weighs approximately 33 lbs. The piece depicts a stand off between two figures in the lore of the Sioux Tribes of North and South Dakota. Unktehila, the great black serpent, was a mythical beast that ravaged the land and waters. The White Buffalo Calf Woman is a holy being in Sioux belief, and is representative of the universal Earth Goddess. Though the two did not meet in Native Lore, this imagined scene, inspired by the events at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, depicts the White Buffalo Calf Woman confronting Unktehila on the banks of a northern plains river.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 3”
  • Medium: Mixed Media
  • Width: 50”
  • Year created: 2018
  • Height: 30”