See South Dakota’s ‘Dignity of Earth and Sky’ Sculpture Up Close
I've seen other people's pictures of the Dignity statue near Chamberlain, SD, but I finally got to see it for myself!
The Dignity sculpture is at a rest area near Chamberlain on I-90. Pictures really don't do it justice. It is very impressive in person. Being up close, I realized the quilted pattern actually moves a bit with the wind. How cool is that?
The inscription on the plaque on the base of the statue says, "Standing at a crossroads, Dignity echoes the interaction of earth, sky, and people. She brings to light the beauty and promise of the indigenous peoples and cultures that still thrive on this land. My intent is to have the sculpture stand as an enduring symbol of our shared belief that all here are sacred, and in a sacred place."
After some googling, I found some other fun facts. Dignity was a gift from Norm and Eunabel McKie of Rapid City as a gift to the state of South Dakota to celebrate the state's 125th birthday in 2014. However, the statue wasn't installed until 2016.
The sculptor, Dale Lamphere, used three different Native American models from the Dakota and Lakota tribes to get the face just right. The models ranged in age from 14 to 55.
Her dress is a quilted pattern representing respect, honor, and admiration. It is reminiscent of the traditional dress of the 1850s.
The sculpture stands 50 feet tall overlooking the Missouri River.
The website travelsouthdakota.com states, "She casts a peaceful gaze across the waters of the Missouri River. During the day, the South Dakota wind brushes the diamonds in her star quilt, causing blue shades to twinkle in the sunlight. At night, she stands illuminated and strong. She is Dignity."