Friday, December 14, 2012

Heartwaters Caretaker Woman

Next to the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center in Itasca State Park at the start of the trail to the Headwaters is a beautiful bronze statue by Jeff Savage.

From a sign posted next to the sculpture:

"In Anishinabe (Ojibwe) belief it is the women who are the Caretakers of the Water. We are to respect this responsibility of the sacred work of women by keeping this precious resource pristine and renewable for all future generations to enjoy.

In this sculpture, a woman is leaning over, releasing a clutch of small turtles from a basket, renewing the seasons and continuing the waters of life. Her flowing hair is like that of flowing water. The turtles, strong water symbols, also symbolize the universal cycles of life in Anishinabe belief.

The turtle's round shell represents the earth, moon, sun and seasonal cycles. The legs of the turtle point in the four directions, his head points up to honor Grandfather Sun and his tail points down towards Mother Earth. Turtles show us all directions of life - they live in the water, walk on land and breathe air. Turtles are a strong symbol of the importance of this site, located here at the beginning of the Headwaters."

Heartwaters Caretaker Woman Sculpture by Jeff Savage


  1. Thanks for the story of the bronze statue. Very interesting.

  2. What a beautiful sculpture and I love the story that goes with it!

  3. Love he sculpture. Seems there are many turtle stories amongst out native peoples.


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