Guide These, My Hands

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On display at Train Station Park, 400 S. Main Street, Bentonville, AR

Guide These, My Hands is a sculpture in fabric, embroidery thread, and steel created by sculptor Danielle Hatch and poet Traci Rae Manos. Traci’s poem Foothills Healer is hand-sewn into a continuous ruffle made of 126 yards of weatherproof nylon. The artwork honors the compassion and resilience of the women of Northwest Arkansas and celebrates traditional folk medicine practiced in the Ozark Mountains. The magenta fabric evokes the flower of the wild burdock plant, known for its medicinal properties. Twenty-two volunteers––all women living in Northwest Arkansas––helped to embroider the artwork:

Michelle BakerNicole HansenJocelyn Peterson
Meredith BergstromKristin JohnsonSteph Piston
Keely BriceAlice KellyTrisha Posey
Diana CascanteRebecca KellyLoretta Radeke
Chelsea CarskaddonKirsten MasonKaren Sasine
Maria ConroyTara NorwoodRikki Skopp
Charlotte DarlingAnna PetersonBethanySmith
Tabbitha Easley


Poem Sewn onto Fabric:

Foothills Healer

 

Make me of a quiet mind and steadfast heart. 

Wake me before the sap rises in the pulp 

 

and the buds spring forth, that I might sense 

the first stem’s quiver in my marrow. Then will 

 

I rise early and take to the woods. I will lift mine 

eyes to these hills from whence comes my help. 

 

Guide these, my hands, to the sassafras and burdock, 

to the blue burvene, dogwood and wild cherry, 

 

so too, to the roots of sarsaparilla and mayapple. 

For the physicians here are few and far-between. 

 

The roads, likewise, slow-going. And it falls 

on us women-folk to see to it that our neighbors 

 

and loved ones are looked after in times of need—

whether they be young or old, sick or dying, 

 

or with child. We are the night watchmen. 

It is we who keep the kerosene lamps.

 

                        

                                                Traci Rae Manos

 

Foothills Healer in English (pdf)

Foothills Healer in Spanish (pdf)

Foothills Healer in Hmong (pdf)

 

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