Nancy (Siyang) Yang
Rochester Century High School
The first figure is an African woman, representing the arid climate of her continent. In Swahili- a language spoken throughout Sub-Saharan Africa-pula literally means “rain,” but rain is so valuable that pula is used as a blessing, a greeting and name of the Botswana currency.
The second figure is a panihari- the Rajasthan-Indian name for “water women.” Women walk on foot daily through deserts searching for fresh water for their families. To pass time they sing and dance, so panihari also refers to their special water dance and songs.
Last is a Pueblo American woman. The ancient Pueblo lived in deserts of the dry American Southwest. They developed unique “water glyph” carvings, which are scattered throughout the Southwest like road signs to water sources.
Though each culture is different, water feeds them all, so I made the figures feminine-to exemplify water’s life-giving property. When water is pumped into this “fountain” some of it leaks through holes at the side, representing how water is at times wasted or lost; but most of it flows as if through the figures and out of spouts from their hands, to show how water cycles through us and returns to the Earth.