Unity Rising Campaign
Grandmother Unity is an original concept drawing made manifest into a now 56” tall x 30” wide x 29” deep stainless steel (prototype) sculpture. She is a Native American Elder that represents the reunification of the four colors of humanity Red, Yellow, Black & White. Living in a time of extreme division she was born into our reality and has come to me with a mission and a message, “ Bring Together” or in Lakota, “Owanzila” . Unci Owanzila, meaning “ Grandmother who Brings Together”
Gene “ Ironman” Smith brought my concept artwork to life as he interpreted several drawings and a story that accompanies Unci. Gene is a Native American metal art sculptor, he is of the Choctaw and Lakota Nation. Gene created this incredible stainless steel sculpture depicted in the photos. Each element of Unci represents not only all people but how we are also related to Mother Earth. Her long rainbow hair represents her ancient wisdom but also every variation of light/people and the ushering in of what many Native Americans believe is the arrival of today’s “ Rainbow Warriors” and we are here now to save the Earth. Unci’s body is spiraled like our DNA as we are all One family, her dress adorned with Infinity cutouts, she stands atop and is born out of a tree which is the Tree of Life yet rooted firmly as one people in every community. Unci’s eyes have stars within them as we all came from the stars, were seeded upon the Earth, and will return to the stars, her head band reiterates this with a Star on one side and Tree of Life on the other. Finally Unci, looking upward in confidence, marches forward holding her Eagle staff moving towards the East because in the East is where all things are born, she walks to a new beginning of Unity, dangling from her arm , feathers representing the 4 colors of Humanity.
Unci Owanzila was officially introduced through a Morning Call article published on 2/21/23. She will be a real life mission for our organization, Paza Tree of Life. Once we are able to raise enough funds to create a larger final sculpture and a sponsor provides a place for Unci to call home we will create annual programming, education and a Unity Festival during Indigenous People’s month promoting the coming together of all communities but also bringing back into our awareness the vital importance of our Native American relatives.
To me Unci Owanzila is a celebration of oneness, she’s a spiritual messenger who’s arrived during a time when all people need to hear her message of Unity. She shows us we are all relatives and will teach us the original instructions of how to come back together as one family again, a family that will hold hands and close the circle United under the great Tree of Life. That time is now. Our belief is in the knowing that Unci Owanzila’s message will race across the Earth reuniting all nations
Robert Christopher, Concept Artist