SouthWind Statue finds new home on the west end of the tribal headquarters
You may have grown accustomed to seeing the statue of the horseman with his arms outstretched consulting the SouthWind in front of the Kanza Museum while travelling down Highway 11. The statue recently moved up the road to stand next to the Kaw Nation Headquarters sign near the corner of Highway 11 and Grandview Drive.
This move was made to highlight the inference to the Kaw Nation Headquarters.
About the artist
In 1999, the South Wind Art & Cultural Foundation was formed by a group of citizens to erect an exhibit to depict the “People of the South Wind” — the Kaw Native Americans. Detailed plans and designs were formulated and funds raised for the first phase of the exhibit which is the horse with rider, with arms outstretched consulting the “South Wind.”
The Kaw Nation and the City of Kaw City, Okla., were helpful in providing startup funds for this project. A parking area and path leading up to the horse were prepared by volunteers, and the formal dedication was held in June 2002.
In 2003, with the assistance of the Kaw Nation, a fund-raising event was held. Among other auction items, Todd Whipple, the artist of the South Wind sculpture, donated a bust of the Native American rider, which is on display at the Kanza Museum.
When the foundation disbanded, the board members made the decision to find a caretaker for this piece of art; therefore, they donated it to the Kaw Nation. It was then removed from the top of the hill and now sits with his arms stretched, facing the south wind in front of the Kanza Museum.
The statue named “Southwind” was designed by sculpture artist Todd Whipple of Wichita, Kan., with the layered metal to allow the wind to pass through so the rider becomes one with the wind. This also allows the wind to continue its way to respect the south wind and the people who use its name. The rider throws his hands into the air; he is ready to be with the wind. “Kanza: People of the South Wind.”