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The Keeper of the Plains, Wichita

(4.7/5 based on 400+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Very pretty and interesting. There was quite a lot to read about Native Americans. It happened to be a beautiful, warm sunny day, so it was extra nice to walk around to take it all in. 
  • Very well laidout and many displays had sound. Found great displays of Indian jewelry and identified one that I own. Has a very nice gift shop for jewelry and other souvenirs. 
  • The Keeper of the Plains is one of the most iconic symbols of Wichita. It is located at the confluence of the big and little Arkansas rivers. You can park in the parking lot of Exploration Place and w...  more »
Google
  • Have you seen the troll? Seen the fire at night? watch the sunset on the keeper? Caught a Rare Pok√©mon ? or just walked the bike path to see where it leads you ? go on an adventure and start here! you will have fun!
  • If you come to visit Wichita, make some time to see "The Keeper Of The Plains". On the fork of the river, it is a good 15 minute spectacle to visit whilst exploring downtown or the museums by the river. Tip - Fire will burn around the Keeper for 15 minutes at 9pm in summer/spring and 7pm in winter/fall.
  • The Keeper and his associated river walk is my favorite thing about Wichita. Great views, great memories, would visit again.
  • One of the most beautiful spots in Wichita. I recommend going as the sun is setting to experience it. Great place to go with others or to go and watch the water flow in peace.
  • From out of town, but found this while looking for places to see in Wichita. It basically is a huge statue out in the middle of the fork in the river. I enjoyed viewing the displays about Native Americans and then walking along the bank of the river. Great place to stop and see.