The Choctaw and Irish cultures will come together June 18 for a long-awaited dedication of the Kindred Spirits sculpture in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland.
Cork-based artist Alex Pentek was commissioned to create a sculpture commemorating a donation by the Choctaw people to Ireland during the Great Famine. He created a beautiful representation of life and generosity from one Nation of people to another.
Nine majestic 20-foot eagle feathers form a perfect circle, reaching to the skies above Bailic Park in Midleton. The arrangement of eagle feathers in a circular shape represents a bowl filled with food and presented to those suffering hunger.
According to Cork County Council Official Joe McCarthy, the circle may also represent life, the beautiful planet we inhabit, the universe and God and also reflect that the Irish Nation now responds to the needs of others as the Choctaw did when they were in need.
“The Choctaw, having suffered themselves and out of their poverty, could be so kind, generous and considerate for people on the other side of the world, barely known to them, follows the flight of the eagle and represents a rising above,” said McCarthy. “They bestowed a blessing not only on the starving Irish men, women, and children but also on humanity as a whole causing a shift in human consciousness and progressing human evolution.
“The gift of the Choctaw was a demonstration of love, and I hope that their monument will encourage us to act as they did.”
Chief Gary Batton and a delegation from the Choctaw Nation will be attending the ceremony, one that will include traditional Choctaw and Irish music and dance as well as several activities around the story and sculpture.
“This bond between our Nations has strengthened over the years,” said Chief Batton. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to share our cultures and to meet the generous people who have continued to honor a gift from the heart,” Batton said.
“I envision the joining of our spirits 170 years ago and know the Chahta and people of Ireland will forever share a special bond.”
The dedication is expected to take place during the afternoon of June 18. ChoctawNation.com will post updates.