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The Keeper of the Plains, Wichita

4.7
#4 of 32 in Things to do in Wichita
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
497 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • August 10, 2017
    Nice to visit and learn about the culture of Wichita. Lighting of the torch is neat to watch. Neat architecture.  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    The Keeper of the Plains is pretty awe-inspiring all by itself, but add the 9pm Ring of Fire and WOW! So grateful to Blackbear Bosin for his creativity that reminds us daily of the Native American her...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    The Keeper of the Plains is a beautiful sculpture with a nod to the Native people's of the area. It is located at the confluence of two rivers, which is dramatic. In the evening, huge cauldrons are li...  more »
Google
  • July 5, 2017
    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.
  • July 5, 2017
    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.
  • July 1, 2017
    Wonderful historical area in Wichita. Ample parking, benches, water fountain with several historical markers of interest. Impressive statue and two beautiful bridges.
  • July 4, 2017
    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
  • July 1, 2017
    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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