History of Indigenous Peoples

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Reprined from _Parade Magazine_ 1/31/93, Intelligence Report Section, no
byline given:

Old Wheel Gets a New Spin

Most Americans know the work of Stan Herd from a TV commercial that aired
during last year's Super Bowl. It featured a new Buick plunked down in the
middle of a wheatfield, whose perfectly mown concentric circles were revealed
by an aerial view.
Herd, 42 -- a Kansas "crop artist" who works with weedcutters, combines,
tractors, and plows, instead of a brush -- recently completed another major
project. He helped to create a four-acre medicine wheel at Haskell Indian
Junior College in Lawrence, Kan.
Herd's creation is the newest of some 50 medicine wheels in North America,
the oldest dating back 4500 years. A medicine wheel is a huge circle outlined
in stone, with markings that indicate the equinoxes and the summer and winter
solstices. It is a spiritual symbol -- the four paths within the wheel
representing four stages of human life, the four winds, and the ancestral
wisdom of the four grandfathers.
Dan Wildcat, a professor at Haskell, came up with the idea of a new medicine
wheel as a positive Native American project at a time of negative reaction to
the Columbus quincentennial. Leslie Evans, an art instructor at the college,
and his students designed the wheel, which was dedicated by Indian leaders
from across the U.S.
"My work has come full circle," Herd told _Parade_. His first "earthwork",
as he calls his creations, was a 160-acre portrait of the Kiowa chief Satanta,
carved in a Kansas wheatfield in 1981. All of his monumental works will be
visible in _Crop Art and Other Earthworks_, to be published this fall by
Abrams.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
This medicine wheel was used as the site for the blessing ceremony 10/3/92
to bless the "Flame Spirit Run" and its participants. -- Gaele

E. Gaele Gillespie / University of Kansas / Lawrence, Kansas 66045


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