Let’s chat about something most Wichitans have seen, but may not know the history of…the Keeper of the Plains! The Keeper of the Plains is a steel sculpture located in downtown Wichita where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together. Here are the basics:
Created by Wichitan and Kiowa-Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin Erected on May 18, 1974, to celebrate the United States Bi-centennial
Made of Cor-Ten steel
Weights 5 tons
Stands 44 feet tall (the 25th tallest statue in the United States! )
Placed on a 30-foot rock promontory to be seen further away in 2006
Located on ground sacred to the Native American people and where you can find the Mid-America All-Indian Museum.
Serves as a motif for the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, which is a U.S. Air Force flying unit based at McConnell Air Force Base. From 1993-2004, its image and the words “Keeper of the Plains” were on the tails of their Boeing KC-135 air refueling tankers.
On March 11 of this year, a photo of the Keeper of the Plains was part of a clue on Jeopardy!
Two smaller copies of the statue have been given to two of our sister cities.
For brief periods in the evening, the Keeper is surrounded by a "ring of fire." Ring of Fire Hours, conditions permitting: - Daylight Saving Time (spring and summer): 9pm-9:15pm - Standard Time (fall and winter): 7pm-7:15pm
**Originally posted on our Facebook page on July 12, 2021.**