New HorseChief statue installed at Sequoyah High School

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
08/29/2011 06:54 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee artist Daniel HorseChief directs the placement of his statue “The Seeker” onto a concrete pedestal located in front of the Sequoyah High School gymnasium. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
“The Seeker” created by Cherokee artist Daniel HorseChief stands in front of the Sequoyah High School gymnasium. The statue is approximately 11 feet tall and took four years to complete. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
“The Seeker” created by Cherokee artist Daniel HorseChief was placed in front of the Sequoyah High School gymnasium on Aug. 24. The statue is approximately 11 feet tall and took four years to complete. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A fallen warrior lies at the bottom of the statue "The Seeker," which was created by Cherokee artist Daniel HorseChief. The artist said the fallen warrior symbolizes the stuggle of all tribes to rise from despair. The statue is approximately 11 feet tall and stands in front of the Sequoyah High School gymnaisum. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A new bronze statue graces the grounds of Sequoyah High School in front of the school’s gymnasium.

Cherokee/Pawnee artist Daniel HorseChief created the approximately 11-foot tall statue titled “The Seeker.” It was installed at the school on Aug. 24 without fanfare but an official dedication ceremony for the statue will be held later.

HorseChief is also responsible for the nine-foot tall Sequoyah statues that sit on the campuses of NSU and SHS. He also recently created “Resurgence,” a stickball statue that sits in the atrium of the Cherokee Heritage Center.

“This one actually came before all of those, even before the Sequoyah piece (2009). It was actually my first large commission, but it’s been put on hold off and on. It’s been four years coming,” he said.

He added finding a place for the statue at SHS and an injury delayed him finishing “The Seeker.”

The statue is composed of four figures and each one symbolizes something different, he said.

The person lying at the bottom of the statue looking worn and beaten could symbolize a person who didn’t make it to Indian Territory during the removal of tribes from the southeastern United States or someone who has been defeated in life, HorseChief explained.

The second figure from the bottom represent a person’s failures and them fighting through their obstacles while the third figure is “actively and aggressively” trying to block the progress of the warrior who is fighting to survive or overcome obstacles.

“He could represent the more demanding obstacles, the last obstacles that you have to overcome,” he said.

The third figure also represents anger and each figure represents an emotion, he said.

“The main (top) figure, he represents victory or triumph…he represents literally attaining your goal,” he said. “I wanted this for all Native people. We all have similarities. We all have similarities, and we all have personal obstacles and friends that we’ve lost, love ones, so I wanted to show that.”

The struggles represented could be drug and alcohol abuse, mental and physical struggles and obstacles created by society, HorseChief explained.

“There are so many things they could represent,” he said.

The statue was originally meant for the gymnasium’s atrium, which HorseChief said called for a scaled down version of the statue. Ultimately, he rejected the four-foot statue because he believed it was too small to truly represent his vision.

“It looked too small, and I’m glad it worked out that way because moving outside makes it stand out more,” he said.

HorseChief also had a hand in determining how the base would look. It is a seven-sided base to represent the Cherokee Nation’s seven clans. The base will have lights to illuminate the figure at night, and HorseChief has asked the CN to landscape the area around the statue and plant pine trees.

On a personal note, HorseChief said the statue could also represent his personal struggles before he became a full-time artist. As a comparison to where he life was while he was in college compared to his life now as a successful artist, he said in college he was voted by his friends as most likely to die first among his friends.

“With God’s help it’s turned completely around, and I have a great family. I love my people—all of my people. It’s only with his (God’s) help that I’m here standing,” he said. “It’s been a learning process, and I’ve been corrected a lot, but I’m glad. I just feel so fortunate, it’s like a dream, to be able to get a chance like this.”

will-chavez@cherokee.org • (918) 207-3961
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ.- ᎢᏤ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎾᎿᎢ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿᎢ ᎢᎬᏱᏗᏜ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏁᏦᏗᎢ .

ᏣᎳᎩ/Pawnee ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ Daniel Horsecheif ᎤᏬᏢᏁᎢ ᎢᏙᎯᏳᎯᏯ ᏌᏚ -ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᏱᎦᏘ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎯᎠᏃ ᏄᏍᏗ ᏚᏙᎠ “Ꮎ ᎪᎷᏩᏘᏍᎩ.” ᎦᎶᏂ 24 ᎧᎸᎢ. ᎤᏂᎧᏁᎢ ᎾᎿᎢ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏎᏅ ᎤᏩᎬᏘᏗᏒ ᏓᎾᏠᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᎸᏉᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅ ᎦᏙᎩ.

Horsecheif ᏃᏍᏊ ᏧᏬᏢᏅᎢ ᏐᏁᎵ ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᏏᏉᏯ ᏣᎦᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎥᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ ᎾᎿᎢ NSU ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎰᏂ ᎦᏙᎦ ᎠᎴᏍᏊ SHS. ᎾᏞᎬᏫ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎤᏬᏢᏁᎢ “ᎠᏟᏂᎪᎯᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᎠᎾᎳᏍᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎾᎿᎢ ᎦᎳᏅᏛᎢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏂᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅᎢ ᎠᏰᎵ.

“ᎯᎠᏃ ᏌᏊ ᏥᎩ ᎢᏙᏳᎢ ᎢᎬᏱᎢ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏏᏅ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎨᏒ, ᏏᏅ Ꮎ ᏏᏉᏲᎢ ᏥᎦᏙᎦ (2009). “ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ ᎢᏙᏳᎢ ᏩᎬᏱᏴᎢ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᏎᏅ ᏳᏓᎵᎭ ᎠᏃᎯᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏅᎩᏃ ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᏟᎠᎵᏙᎰᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ.

ᎠᏩᏛᏗᏃ ᎾᎿᎢ ᎠᏗᎢ Ꮎ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏔᏅᎢ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎨᏒ SHS ᎠᎴ ᎤᏓᏐᏅᏅᎩᏃ ᎤᏬᎯᏕᎢ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗᎢ “Ꮎ ᎪᎷᏩᏘᏍᎩ.” ᎾᏃ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎾᎩ ᏕᎨᎦᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏄᏩᏓᎴ ᏕᎦᏗᎦ, ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ. ᎾᏃ ᏴᏫ ᎡᎳᏗ ᏥᎦᏅᎦ ᎾᎿᎢ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎤᏲᎢ ᏗᎧᏂᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏥᎸᏂᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᎦᏟᎶᏍᏗᎭ ᏏᏴᏫ ᎤᏄᎸᏅᎢ ᎤᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏴᏫᏯᎢ ᎤᏔᎳᏔᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏗᎲᎢ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᎤᎦᏅᏮ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎧᎸᎬᎢ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏐᏴᏫ ᎠᏥᏎᎪᎩᏓ ᎡᎲᎢ, ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ HorseChief. ᏔᎵᏁᏃ ᎡᎳᏗ ᏥᏓᎦᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎦᏛᎬᎢ ᎠᏏᏴᏫ ᏧᏄᎸᎲᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎦᏛᎴᏏᏙᎲᎢ ᎤᏲᎢ ᎨᏒ ᏦᎢᏁᏃ ᏥᏓᎦᏟᎶᏍᏓ “ᎬᏂᎦᎵᏍᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏁᎫᏥᏓ” ᎠᏁᏟᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎦᎵᏍᏚᏗᎢ ᎠᏱᎵᏒᎢ ᏓᎿᏩ ᏗᏟᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᏟᎰᎢ ᎤᎦᏛᎴᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏲᎢ ᎨᏒᎢ

“ᎡᎵᏊᏃ ᏯᏥᏃᎲᎵ Ꮎ ᏭᏟᏂᎬᎬᎢ, ᏬᏂᎢᏴᎢᏃ ᎠᎦᏛᎴᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ.

ᎾᏃᏍᏊ ᏦᎢᏁᎢ ᏥᏓᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᏄᏓᎴᏍᏊ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎢᎦᏛᎬ ᎠᏔᏝᎣᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏌᏊᎭ ᏥᏓᏟᎶᏍᏓ ᏄᏍᏛᏃ ᎢᎩᎷᏤᎲᎢ ᎢᎦᏓᏅᏛ ᎾᏍᎩᏃᎢ ᏕᎦᏛᎬ, ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ.

“ᎾᏃ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ (ᎦᎸᎳᏗ) ᏥᏓᏟᎶᏍᏓ, ᎠᏓᎵᏁᎯᏛᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᏆᏛᎢ … ᏐᎢᏃ ᎨᏒ ᎢᎦᏛᎬ ᏂᎦᎥᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏅᏛᏁᎸᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ. “ ᎯᎠᏃ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏁᎯᏴ ᏴᏫ. ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎢᏗᏍᎩᏯᎯᎨᏍᏗ ᎨᎰᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎢᏗᏏᏴᏫᎭ ᏳᏓᎵᎭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏠᏏᏙᎰᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᎵᎢ ᏗᎩᏲᎱᏎᎸᎢ,ᎠᎴ ᏗᏗᎨᏳᎯ ᏕᎩᏲᎱᏎᎳ, ᎥᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏩᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏯᏮᏁᏗᎢ,”

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᎦᏛᎴᏏᏙᎲᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᏃ ᎦᏛᎬᎢ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏱᎧᏃᎮ ᏅᏬᏘ ᎠᏓᎯᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏴᏍᏕᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏗᏔᏍᏗ, ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏢᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎨᏥᏐᏅᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ Horsechief ᎧᎬᎮᏢᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᎤᏓᏍᏈᏍᏙᏒᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏛᎬ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Ꮎ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎢᎬᏱᎢ ᏯᏪᎵᏒᎢ ᎨᏒ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏧᎾᏁᏟᏗᎢ ᏗᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Horsecheif ᎢᏳᏪᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏲᏟᎨᏍᏗᏭ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅᎢᎦᏙᎩ. ᎢᎸᎯᏳᏃ, ᎤᏲᏎᎴᏃ Ꮎ ᏅᎩ ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᎦᏙᎩ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎤᏍᏗᎩᎢ ᎤᏪᎵᏒᎢ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎠᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᏛᎧᏂᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏍᏗᎩᏴ ᏂᎬᏫᏍᏛᎢ, ᎠᏎᏅ ᎦᎵᎮᎵᎦ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏥᏄᎵᏍᏔᏁᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎥᎲᏍᎬᎢ ᏙᏱᎢᏗᏜ ᏓᏤᏝ ᏴᎪᏩᏔ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Horsecheif ᏛᏍᏊ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏁᎢ ᎠᏠᏛᎢ . ᎦᎵᏉᎩᏃ ᏧᏅᏏᏯ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏁᎢ ᏩᏠᏗᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏧᏂᏴᏫ ᎨᏒ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ. ᏩᏠᏗᎢᏃ ᎡᎳᏗᏢ ᏓᏨᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎤᏒᎢᏃ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ, Horsecheif Z ᏚᏛᏛᏁᎢ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎤᏬᏚᎯ ᏱᎬᏩᏅᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎰᏂ ᎾᎿᎢ ᎦᎧᎲᎢ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᏳᏂᎪᏗ ᏱᎩ ᏃᏥ ᏕᏡᎬᎢ.

ᎤᏩᏌ ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᎪᏪᎵ, Horsecheif ᎤᏪᏓ Ꮎ ᎥᏣᏱ ᎪᏢᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᎦᏙᎩ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎠᏯ ᏯᎩᏃᎮᎭ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏗᎩᎶᏒᎢ Ꮟ ᏗᎦᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏥᎨᏒ. ᏛᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏮᏌ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏥᏚᏠᏏᏙᎮᎢ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏥᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏊᏃ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᏄᎦᏙᏌᏅᎢ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᏥᎩ, ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᏃ ᏥᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏂᏁᏤᎢ ᏧᎵᎢ ᎥᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᎬᏱᎢ ᏗᏲᎱᏏᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏧᎵᎢ ᎠᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᏮᏌ ᏄᎾᏛᏅᎢ.

“ᎤᏁᎳᏅᎯᏃ ᎤᏍᏕᎵᎲᎢ ᎤᎦᏛᎲᎡᎴᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏗᏜ ᏗᎨᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᏥᎨᏳᎢ ᎣᏥᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ. ᏗᏥᎨᏳᎢ ᏗᏆᏤᎵᎢ ᏴᏫ-ᏂᎦᏓ ᏗᏆᏤᎵᎢ ᏴᏫ. ᎤᏁᎳᏅᎯᏃ ᎠᏆᏍᏕᎵᎲᎢ ᏄᏰᏟᏓ ᏥᎨᏙᎢ ᎪᎯᎢᎦ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎨᎢ. “ ᎦᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ ᏧᎶᏌ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎬᎩᏅᏍᏓᏕᎯᎢ ᎤᎪᏗ, ᎠᏎᏅ ᎦᎵᎮᎵᎦ. ᎠᏇᎿᎢᏊ ᎡᎵᏍᏗ , ᏨᏍᎩᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏯᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᏄᏍᏓ ᏣᏆᎵᏅᏓᏕᎳ.”

About the Author
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. 

For many years h ...
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. For many years h ...

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