Spinning Wool from Cement
Making A 40 Pound Sheep
Each figure in the nativity scene was created using the same method. The creators made a frame of wood and then surrounded it with cement. After shaping the cement and letting it dry, they covered it with plaster. As a final step Kaib and his associates painted the figure to give each piece its color. This sheep, which broke during transport between locations, was sawed in half to help visitors understand the anatomy of the figures. Each sheep weighs approximately 40 pounds. The heaviest figures, the camels, weigh approximately 500 pounds each.
All of the supplies used to create the nativity scene were purchased by the six POWs using funds donated by the POWs from the pay they received and from profits from the POW canteen. The POWs earned 10 cents an hour for work they did, up to 80 cents a day. The $8,000 need to create the scene represents the pay for one week's work for the approximately 1,700 prisoners at Camp Algona. Some of the supplies were available to the POWs through the Camp, whereas others were brought in with permission from the camp commander, Lt. Col. Arthur Lobdell.