A sculpture was erected in Ireland to thank a Native American tribe for sending what little money they could to the Irish people suffering from starvation at the height of the Great Famine more than 160 years ago.
On March 23, 1847 the Choctaw Native American tribe, who had known great hardship during their forced march to Oklahoma, collected whatever spare money they could and sent $170 to Ireland through a charity relief group.
To remember their generosity and friendship, a huge stainless steel sculpture of nine eagle feathers was installed in Midleton, County Cork, on a grassy expanse in the town’s Bailic Park.
The Choctaw people donated the money 16 years after they, and other tribes, were forced from their homelands in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and made to walk 500 miles along what is now known as The Trail of Tears. Many of the frailest perished due to disease, malnutrition and exposure during one of the coldest winters on record.
The Cork sculptor, Anex Penetek, talked about his $110,000 creation, “Kindred Spirits,” telling the Irish Examiner, “I wanted to show the courage, fragility and humanity that they displayed.”
Choctaw leaders were invited to the grand unveiling in 2017.
“The bond between our nations has strengthened over the years,” Chief Batton said. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to share our cultures, and meet the generous people who have continued to honour a gift from the heart.”
(READ the update, and see photos, via the Irish Examiner)
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