Each goldback bill has .9999 fine gold in exacting quantities. Goldback bills carry a precise amount of pure gold between layers of polyester which makes them resilient and durable.
This goldback was inspired by the legends surrounding Maiden's Isle on Lake Kampeska, one of South Dakota's picturesque glacial lakes. Among the many tales that grace these waters, one stands out—a legend of love, honor, and commitment.
In this legend, a young woman named Minnecotah was deeply in love with a hunter from Wahpeton. Despite the advances of local men who desired her hand in marriage, she remained steadfast, waiting for her true love. To delay the suitors, she devised a clever contest: she would marry the man who could throw a stone the farthest into the lake.
Days passed as the men cast stones into the water, with Minnecotah skillfully prolonging the contest by claiming that the waves obscured her judgment. This ruse worked for a time, and an island began to form in the lake. But when her suitors realized the truth, they resorted to drastic measures. They kidnapped Minnecotah and left her stranded on the island they had created, depriving her of food in an attempt to force her to choose one of them or face starvation.
In an act of unwavering honor and commitment, Minnecotah chose neither suitor, remaining true to her love. On the island, she was sustained by a white pelican, which brought her fish and berries to help her survive. Eventually, her beloved hunter returned to rescue her, and they began their life together. When the suitors discovered her absence, they believed that the sun god had sent the white pelican to whisk her away.
In the illustration of Laurea, she stands on a stone island in the lake, representing Maiden's Isle from Lake Kampeska. A white pelican soars gracefully above her, symbolizing the enduring connection between love and nature. Raspberries adorn the foreground, a testament to the sustenance that kept Minnecotah alive during her time on the island.
The illustration is enriched with elements from Lakota legends, including the story of the flute, the origin of the porcupine's quills, and the legend of the dream catcher, as shared by the Aktá Lakota Museum & Cultural Center. These legends infuse the artwork with a deeper cultural resonance.
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