The Giant Figures of Ousmane Sow: Pont Des Arts – 1999
A light wind riffles the surface of the Seine just below this reincarnation of the battle of Little Bighorn: a bend in another river where determined men slaughtered each other one June afternoon in 1876 . . . 200 of Custer’s cavalry & uncounted Cheyenne & Sioux each with a weapon to deploy & each a life to surrender.
You have come to kill me . . . here . . . on my own land & I hate you for that & the hair & skin which I cut from your head is justly mine to show of you for what you are now.
This warrior has come with the rest to face his death & where he falls he arches up in one last rebellious surge of form . . . back bent like a bow & heart . . . like an arrow & eyes . . . to the sky.
Two Moon’s rides high on his horse’s back & leaps up & . . . up & up & over the bodies of the dead & dying horses & men & into an onslaught of fire & blood . . .
When Cheyenne go to war they wear a hat they shape from the skin & hair of a Buffalo cow & four arrows: two to do battle & two to hunt game in the spirit life.
I am Gall, tactician & master of strategy & war & younger brother to Sitting Bull . . .& I am the Sun & the Bear & the Buffalo & I am here to salvage what is left.