July 17, 2009

Trail of Tears monument in Tulsa

Monument is planned to mark Trail of Tears

By Deon HamptonA $250,000 monument symbolizing American Indians and their forced removal to Oklahoma will be erected at the Council Oak Tree in Tulsa next week.

The Council Oak Tree, near 18th Street and South Cheyenne Avenue, is one of Tulsa's most noted landmarks.

In 1832, the Lochapoka clan of the Creek Indians spread ashes from their sacred ceremonial fires in Alabama under the tree.

The 18-foot bronze sculpture of flames will be surrounded by four story boards depicting the route the Five Civilized Tribes took from the southeastern United States to Indian Territory, beginning in the 1830s.
Comment:  Looking at the sculpture, it isn't obvious what its connection with the Trail of Tears is. But I think I get it. The Creek Indians spread ashes from their sacred fires. So the sculpture signifies flames arising from ashes--i.e., rebirth.

I might've gone with something more obvious. Something that doesn't require reading a plaque to understand. But okay.

For more on the subject, see Things to See in Oklahoma.

Below:  "An artist's rendering of the Council Oak Plaza Monument has bronze flames rising from a hearth, around which will be eight tablets telling of American Indians' migration."

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