David Lemon, Sculptor - Master of Bronze


Sacagawea

Sacagawea
18 1/2 inches tall    -   16 inches at the widest point  -  7 inches deep
Sacagawea was born into an Agaidika ("Salmon Eater") tribe of Lemhi Shoshone between Kenney Creek and Agency Creek, near what is now the town of Tendoy in Lemhi County, Idaho. Her exact birth year is unknown. When she was somewhere between ten and twelve years old, she and several other girls were kidnapped by a group of Hidatsa (also known as Minnetarees) in a battle that resulted in the death of four Shoshone men, four women and several boys. She was then taken to a Hidatsa village near the present-day Washburn, North Dakota. At about thirteen years of age, Sacagawea was taken as a wife by Toussaint Charbonneau,a French trapper living in the village, who had also taken another young Shoshone named Otter Woman as a wife. Charbonneau is said to have either purchased both wives from the Hidatsa, or to have won Sacagawea while gambling.
Sacagawea was pregnant with her first child when the Corps of Discovery arrived near the Hidatsa villages to spend the winter of 1804-1805. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark built Fort Mandan and interviewed several trappers who might be able to translate or guide the expedition further up the Missouri River in the springtime. They agreed to hire Charbonneau as an interpreter when they discovered his wife spoke the Shoshone language, as they knew they would need the help of the Shoshone tribes at the headwaters of the Missouri.
Lewis recorded in his journal on November 4, 1804: "a French man by Name Chabonah, who speaks the Big Belly language visit us, he wished to hire and informed us his 2 squars were snake Indians, we engage him to go on with us and take one his wives to interpret the Snake language…" [sic]
Charbonneau and Sacagawea moved into the fort a week later. Lewis recorded the birth of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau on February 11, 1805, noting that another of the party's interpreters administered crushed rattlesnake rattles from Lewis' specimen collection to speed the delivery. The boy was called "Little Pomp" or "Pompy" by Clark and others in the expedition.
I created this piece to show Sacagawea at the time she first met Lewis and Clark, and just before she had Jean Baptiste.

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