Giant sculpture honors Cazenovia's first inhabitants

Artist Bob Rose completed a monumental sculpture for the Stone Quarry Art Park's most recent exhibit honoring the area's original Native American inhabitants.

Rose went into great detail describing his process, which took about three months.

"I started with a 15 foot four-by-four post anchored in concrete," Rose said. "From the bucket loader on the Art Park tractor, I slid down over the post six large circular wooden discs and topped it with a large wooden dome fabricated in my home workshop. About 250 thin strips of wood, generously donated by Dale Cornue, owner of Cornue Woodworks in Nelson were then attached to the discs to form the inner frame. The frame was then wrapped in a fiber matte and a covering of about 1,000 corn leaves, woven and bonded with hot glue was applied to form the cornhusk. The kernels at the top where made with slices of corn and hemp was added to the top to simulate corn silk. The structure was then wrapped with large vines from the nearby woods and beans from locust trees were connected to the vines. Finally about 100 squash and gourds, donated by Critz Farm in Cazenovia were piled at the base."

The overall assembly represented beans, corn and squash, which in the Iroquois story of the creation of the earth was known as "The Three Sisters", the basic subsistence of the Native Americans in the area. These people are know as the Haudenosaunee, or in their language, The People of the Longhouse. Iroquois is actually a slang French word that referred to the Indian Nations forming the Iroquois Confederacy.

The art park will host a closing reception with narratives by the artists from 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 15.

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is located 3883 Stone Quarry Road, Cazenovia. For more information call 655-3196 or visit stonequarryhillartpark.org.

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