ADA, Okla. -- Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and world-renowned Seminole artist Enoch Kelley Haney were joined by dozens of tribal leaders, citizens and employees for the unveiling of the Chickasaw Warrior statue Tuesday, May 10 in front of the Chickasaw Nation Headquarters building.
Mr. Haney, a former state senator who designed The Guardian statue which stands atop the Oklahoma Capitol dome, was commissioned to create the Chickasaw Warrior.
Governor Anoatubby opened the ceremonies with his traditional welcome to guests.
“Welcome to the great, unconquered and unconquerable Chickasaw Nation, a nation known for its intrepid warriors, never known to have lost a battle,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “A nation also known for its dynamic women,” he added
Mr. Haney said, “Governor Anoatubby always talks about Chickasaw warriors never having lost a battle, so I decided to look it up. And it’s true.
“I hope this statue will become an icon, a symbol of the Chickasaw Warrior spirit,” he added. "This sculpture is an image of a strong Chickasaw warrior and I think that is really appropriate, because the Chickasaw Nation is such a strong tribe."
Prior to unveiling the nine foot bronze figure, Gov. Anoatubby said, “We are dedicating this statue to the Chickasaw warriors of the past, the warriors of today, and to those warriors who will come after us.”
The statue is a representation of how a Chickasaw warrior may have appeared from approximately 1,000 to 1,500 A.D.
Information from early European accounts combined with archeological findings were used to piece together the total look of the warrior, including his physical appearance, weapons, clothing and other accouterments.
Members of the Chickasaw Nation Division of Heritage Preservation worked with Mr. Haney to gather information and work out the final details of the statue's appearance.
A replica of the statue will also stand at the Chickasaw Cultural Center currently under construction near the Chickasaw National Recreation area.