"Sigame" sculpture
photo from Our Oakland

"Sigame" ("follow me") is a 13' sculpture in Union Point Park. It was created by sculptor Scott Donahue in 2001 and is made of fiberglass, steel and concrete. It represents 20 women from Oakland's history, and plaques around the base tell about each.

The sculpture was originally designed to be placed in Union Point Park, but the park was still under construction. The dedication was scheduled for September 12, 2001, but delayed until October because of the events of 9/11. It was temporarily placed in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland, where it drew controversy because of its appearance. The sculpture was moved to Union Point Park, c.2005.

According to the artist, the librarians at the Oakland History Center were consulted for which women to include.

Women Represented

Name Dates Plaque Text
Cagute 1733–1803 Jalquin Bay Miwok, the last Oakland area woman to join the Missions, 1803
Jausate 1764–1784 Huchiun Ohlone, first Oakland area woman to move to Mission Dolores, 1782
Maria Luisa Ruruesmain 1766–1823 Huchiun Ohlone, daughter of Louemain the basket weaver, first generation to speak Spanish
Maria Loreta Alviso (Peralta) 1771–1836 Mother in the first Spanish family to settle in Oakland
Hannah Jayne Adams 1819–1894 First Oakland teacher, 1852
Ina Coolbrith 1841–1928 California's first Poet Laureate, 1915, and first director of Oakland Library
Anna Head 1857–1932 Educator, and founder of local school
Delilah Beasley 1867–1934 Pioneer historian of California's African American community
Julia Morgan 1872–1957 Architect and designer of the Hearst Castle
Ethel Moore 1872–1920 Social Worker and founder of the Oakland Social Settlement
Isadora Duncan 1877–1927 Choreographer and pioneer of modern dance
Dr. Marcella Ford 1900–[2001] Pioneer of African American education
Dominga Velasco "Domingita" 1901–[2015] Pioneer of the Mexican-American movement in Oakland
Antonia Brico 1902–1989 Orchestral conductor
Ida Jackson 1902–1996 First African American public school teacher in Oakland
Ruth Beckford 1925– Choreographer of modern and African-Haitian dance
March Fong Eu 1927–[2017] First woman to be elected California secretary of state
Zoe Ann Olsen 1931– Olympic diver, Silver Medalist in 1948, Bronze Medalist in 1952
Arabella Martinez 1937– Co-founder of The Unity Council and developer of the Fruitvale Transit Village
Amy Tan 1952– Author of The Joy Luck Club and other novels

Links and References