Swahili for “Grandmother”
The second sculpture represents the elder group of enslaved Africans. Originally referred to as “Big Ma,” she was renamed to reflect the languages of the places that the enslaved people came from. She is depicted as a gardener, captured in a moment of prayer as she rests for a moment to look skyward.
She prays in Igbo: “Chukwu, ndi anyi huru n anya ebidole njem ha ijekvuru ndi ichie. Ra garou nkuma. Udo diri ha. Anyi eke ji maka ngazi gi.” The translation: “O’ God, our beloved ones have started their journey to meet the ancestors. May they successfully reach their destination. Peace be with them. We thank you for your blessing. Amen.” Braille on her apron reads: “I believe in freedom.”Among the folds of her skirt, there is a relief sculpture of a little girl. The sign on the hem of the skirt reads: “FOR SALE A likely… NEGRO WENCH Seven to eight years of age. Has had smallpox. For information, enquire at…”