Location: Philadelphia , PA, United States
Completion date: 2023
Artwork budget: $75,000
Alpha Sacred Beings is a life-size Parasaurolophus dinosaur skeleton, which once walked the land in both the Delaware Valley and Mexico.
The beaded design was inspired in the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribe. These images tell stories from North America original people.
The turtle on the crown symbolizes all the land throughout North America. Around the dinosaur´s hips is a wampum belt that was given to recognize the friendship treaty under the Sackamaxon Elm between William Penn “Mikwon”and Tamanend “The Affable One”. Along the spine fire, water, wind, mountain, moon, sun, and the stars appear in a set of seven to represent 7 Generations. The 4 cardinal directions are represented on each limb. Flora and fauna native of Delaware Valley appear throughout the beadwork surrounded in the stars and the
8 x 4 meters, weight 4 tons
Stainless Steel, resin, quartz and crystal beads.
Alpha Sacred Beings project was not just an aesthetic choice but a deliberate and meaningful effort to represent, honor, and connect with the indigenous cultures of the Delaware Valley. It served to educate and inspire viewers about cultural heritage, environmental stewardship, unity, and the intergenerational responsibilities we share. This integration was paramount to the project's overarching design, enriching its narrative and purpose.
One of the primary goals was to pay homage to and represent the rich cultural heritage of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribe and North America's original people. The beaded design, inspired by this tribe, allowed us to showcase their stories, traditions, and artistic expressions within the artwork.
Reinforcing the idea that our actions are intertwined with the greater universe. It symbolizes the interconnectedness of all living things and the broader natural world.
The collaboration process for bringing the Alpha Sacred Beings project to life was a deeply personal and culturally enriching experience. As the main artist, I worked closely with two indigenous individuals Lenny and Roberta, who generously shared their stories, traditions, and cultural insights. This collaboration was central to the project's success and authenticity.
The stories they shared became a source of inspiration for the beadwork that adorned the dinosaur skeleton. Each story was carefully interpreted and transformed into intricate bead patterns that conveyed significance of the indigenous narratives.
I´m parth of an indigenous tribe in Mexico. Sensitivity to cultural nuances and traditions is of utmost importance. Collaborating with other indigenous individuals allowed me to navigate these sensitivities with care and respect. The collaboration also involved the broader indigenous community. Their input and feedback were sought, and the project was designed to be a source of pride and connection for the community.
The resulting Alpha Sacred Beings project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration in honoring and preserving indigenous culture through art.