THE CHIEF as a monument
THE CHIEF cast in bronze life-size 40" tall

Vala Ola sculpting the maquette size of THE CHIEF

Vala Ola sculpting the maquette size of THE CHIEF



Bronze Monument available by request.

A FEW WORDS FROM THE ARTIST: "I was inspired to capture the spirit of a leader of men who has seen more than he might have wished for. While sculpting I listened to Nicholas Black Elk's words from the book "Black Elk Speaks". Seeing took on a whole other meaning. He describes a vision where he was "the chief of all the heavens..." He was a medicine man whose visions helped heal his people.

When looking into his face in photographs I felt his wisdom, sorrow and strength, I hope those feelings come thourgh to the viewer. The composition is symmetrical which gives him a sense of grounded strength. The light shines throught the opening between the double trailer of the headress echoing his soaring spirit."   Vala Ola

Black Elk (1863-1950) was a beloved holy man of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). Among his visions was the "Great Vision":

"I was the chief of all the heaven..." Black Elk.

"And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy."

Quotes from "Black Elk Speaks" as told throught John G. Neihardt. 

He wears a choker made of shells and a gorget (shell). Beautiful as the jewelry is it also had the purpose of protecting the neck and chest area in battle. On the inside of the walls of the opening there is a bead pattern from Black Elk's pipe bag. Ermine skins (pipes) and ribbons hang from the adorn the headdress/warbonnet. On the back of the war bonnet you'll see the major plum (trimmed eagle feather) in the center. The eagle feather's most sought after were from the tail of juvenile Golden Eagles (1-3 years of age). The beaded brow band has a pattern of mountains. The bonnet has a flared design common in the Central Plains area. Each eagle feather's quill is wrapped with wool "firecrackers".

Red Arrow 4