January 25, 2011

Generic Oh Great Spirit statue

‘Oh Great Spirit’:  New statue in SLO

By Julia HickeyA larger-than-life bronze statue of an American Indian standing on a boulder has been installed at a corner of Prado Road and South Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo.

“Oh Great Spirit” was created by Nell Scruggs of Thousand Oaks and donated by her daughters, Sharon McDaniels of Arroyo Grande and Terri Ernst of San Luis Obispo, according to Ann Ream, chairwoman of the Art in Public Places Committee at Arts Obispo.

The 800-pound, 12-foot-tall sculpture is not meant to depict a member of any particular tribe, but rather is an homage to all American Indians, she said.
Comment:  With all the tribes in central California, the statue shows a generic Indian in a loincloth praying to the Great Spirit? This is worse than the Black Hawk statue and as bad as the Massasoit and "American" statues I've talked about. It's stereotypical and wrong for the reasons I gave in Rob vs. Curator on Massasoit Statue and Massasoit the Noble Savage.

Below:  "Cyclists admire the bronze sculpture of an American Indian that now graces a corner of Prado Road and South Higuera Street." (David Middlecamp)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These monuments have an inherent "noble savage" quality to them, sadly. I don't think it's leaving Western culture any time soon; it pre-dates Western contact with Indians by several thousand years. (Technically, Enkidu fits the prototypical noble savage.)

I will say that their hearts are in the right place.