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DLUGOSZ USES NEW MEDIUM FOR SITTING BULL SCULPTURE DEPICTS STRUGGLE OF NATIVE AMERICANS TO BE FREE

A wooden bust depicting Sioux leader Sitting Bull is the latest creation of Lackawanna sculptor Louis Dlugosz.

Dlugosz gained renown for previous works of Polish leader Lech Walesa and hostage Terry Anderson that were done in clay. Two other clay busts are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

He said he switched to a new medium of small pieces of wood glued together in an "open" style.

"An open work expresses the freedom of the wood. An open work is as free as the Indians, who fought to be free," said Dlugosz, 78. "In my old age I'm trying new things."

He said he spent about five months on the bust, which is nearly 5 feet tall and, including the base, is more than 7 feet tall.

Dlugosz said he picked Sitting Bull as a symbol of the struggle of Native Americans to be free. The work also is meant to encourage creation of a national holiday honoring Native Americans, he said.

Although no longer an active warrior, Sitting Bull was the leader of a band of Sioux that defeated U.S. Army forces at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 -- "Custer's Last Stand." He also was a martyr for the rights of Indians due to his death at the hands of reservation police in 1890, Dlugosz said.

Dlugosz depicts Sitting Bull holding up his hand in a "V" for victory sign.

"I don't know if the Indians ever used that symbol, but I put it there anyway," he said.

The Lackawanna City Council has approved displaying the work in the lobby of City Hall. An unveiling ceremony has been tentatively scheduled for noon May 9.

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