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The Keeper of the Plains, Wichita

4.7
The Keeper of the Plains is a 13.4m Cor-Ten steel sculpture by Kiowa-Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin. It stands at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in Wichita, Kansas adjacent to the Mid-America All-Indian Center. Surrounding the base of the statue are multiple displays which describe the local tribes that used to inhabit this area, as well as several fire pits which sometimes light up to illuminate the statue at night. The fire pits, which are known as the Rings of Fire, are lit manually for public safety and run in 15-minute increments. They are generally lit once a night around 7 pm during the summer and sunset during the winter.HistoryThe sculpture, commissioned by the city and private organizations to mark the United States Bicentennial, was erected in 1974. It has since become one of Wichita's most recognized and beloved symbols. A spring/summer 2006 project elevated the sculpture on a 30-foot rock promontory so it could be seen from farther away.A profile image of this statue comprises the motif adopted by the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, a U.S. Air Force flying unit which is based at nearby McConnell Air Force Base. From 1993 through 2004, an image of the statue, along with the words "Keeper of the Plains," appeared on the tails of Boeing KC-135 air refueling tankers assigned to the 22nd ARW.
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The Keeper of the Plains Reviews
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534 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This Wichita landmark is absolutely beautiful. The Keeper stand high above the river. There are fire pits out in the river and when they are lit, the area takes on a surreal look and feel.  more »
  • Wichita was our first overnight stop on a cross-country road trip, and so we viewed this magnificent statue on the river. We were there in the early evening and didn't get to see it lighted at dark. T...  more »
  • This was a great pit stop for us to learn some history. Very lovely layout and architecture. Really very nice.  more »
Google
  • We love the keeper! The steam that comes up between the rocks on the ground is a nice touch! It is a lovely place to go to relax, or get exercise and learn about our city's history. The only hangup I have is, there isn't enough parking. You have to get there 30 minutes before they light up the torches during the summer if you want a parking spot.
  • The “Ring of Fire” fire show is great. Arrive by 9 PM during the spring summer (7 PM during fall and winter) for a beautiful and picturesque sunset setting.
  • Wonderful historical area in Wichita. Ample parking, benches, water fountain with several historical markers of interest. Impressive statue and two beautiful bridges.
  • Nice family walk along the river and the statue is quite striking. Wander up close and you can read about the history and get an understanding of the culture
  • It is a beautiful statue dedicated to Native Americans. The statue is 44 feet tall and made of steel. It has a ring of fire that lights up around it on nights when the weather allows. It is quite a sight.

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