Okla. A new bronze statue graces the grounds of Sequoyah
High School in front of the school's gymnasium.
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.
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
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.
added finding a place for the statue at SHS and an injury delayed
him finishing "The Seeker."
statue is composed of four figures and each one symbolizes something
different, he said.
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 during in life, HorseChief explained.
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.
could represent the more demanding obstacles, the last obstacles
that you have to overcome," he said.
third figure also represents anger and each figure represents an
emotion, he said.
main (top) figure, he represents victory or triumph
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."
struggles represented could be drug and alcohol abuse, mental and
physical struggles and obstacles created by society, HorseChief
are so many things they could represent," he said.
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.
looked too small, and I'm glad it worked out that way because moving
outside makes it stand out more," he said.
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.
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.
God's help it's turned completely around, and I have a
great family. I love my peopleall 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."