WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita’s Keeper of the Plains statue turned 47 years old today. It was unveiled back on May 18, 1974.
At 44-feet tall, the statue was sculpted by Blackbear Bosin, who named it. The sculpture took 12 welders known as the “Dirty Dozen” three months to cut and weld the Corten weathering steel.
The Keeper of the Plains stands at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers with hands raised in supplication to the Great Spirit behind the Mid-America All-Indian Center.
Since the sculpture’s installation in 1974 to commemorate the United States Bicentennial, it has become a symbol for the city of Wichita and a tribute to the Native American tribes who continue to gather at the sacred site.
Years later, the Keeper of the Plains received a facelift. It now stands atop a 30-foot promontory and is surrounded by the Ring of Fire fire pots and an outdoor exhibit, describing the way of life of Plains Indians and accented by two bow-and-arrow-like footbridges over the water.