Council of Chiefs

Southwestern Plains Indians, Island Nations and African Cultures, among others, frequently used a “Council of Chiefs” to govern, confront change and provide a repository for shared, historical memory and decision-making. This carving depicts a centered, Leaders’ gathering surrounded by the hopes, history and promises of clan constituents. One instance, in particular, helped shape this wall sculpture… A group of stars we now call the Corona Borealis(Northern Crown) glittered in the night sky of the Pawnee Indian homelands of Kansas and Nebraska. These stars were associated with decision making and were symbolic of the Pawnee deity Tirawahat. Here, great mythical councils planned the Creation and granted governing authority to those protected by the Northern Crown’s light. In the center, one star serves as the servant of the chiefs.

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