Collection: Lakota Madonna with Sunflowers

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


“Madonna” is an Italian term meaning “my lady.” It has been used for Mary since late medieval times and helps to emphasize the relationship between Mary and those who honor her. Its French equivalent is “Notre Dame,” or “Our Lady.”

The term is very familiar to art historians. Traditionally, the name “Madonna” is used for images of Mary holding the infant Jesus. More rarely, it’s used for images that depict Mary without Jesus. Though it was initially used only for Italian art, it has since become an accepted term for Marian art from all cultures.

The Lakota believe that everything has a spirit; including trees, rocks, rivers, and almost every natural being. This therefore leads to the belief in the existence of an afterlife.