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The Keeper of the Plains

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

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


*Information and photos from https://rem.ax/3yMsphQ and https://rem.ax/2T7Mdgw*

**Originally posted on our Facebook page on July 12, 2021.**


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