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Ireland town builds monument to thank Choctaw Nation for aid

An eagle feather being sculpted for the monument in Ireland. Photo from Alex Pentek

A town in Ireland is erecting a monument to honor the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

"Kindred Spirits" by sculptor Alex Pentek recognizes the tribe's donation of $170 in 1847 during the Great Irish Famine, an amount that would run in the tens of thousands of dollars in today's currency. The monument features nine stainless steel eagle feathers that will be placed in the shape of a bowl.

"By creating an empty bowl symbolic of the Great Irish Famine formed from the seemingly fragile and rounded shaped eagle feathers used in Choctaw ceremonial dress, it is my aim to communicate the tenderness and warmth of the Choctaw Nation who provided food to the hungry when they themselves were still recovering from their own tragic recent past," Pentek says on his website.

Artist's rendering of the Kindred Spirits sculpture. Image from Alex Pentek

The sculpture will be unveiled later this year. The town has invited Choctaw leaders to attend the dedication ceremony.

Get the Story:
Irish town builds memorial to thank Native Americans who helped during Famine (Irish Central 3/6)
A famine-time kindness repaid in Cork to Native American Indians (The Irish Examiner 3/2)