By TIM HORAN
It stands 10-feet tall.
It weighs about 500 pounds.
It is designed to whistle in the wind, thus the name Whistling Warrior.
It is a sculpture made by Steve Wedel of Abilene.
And most Abilene residents will never see it.
Wedel is taking the sculpture he built to honor the American Indians to his cabin located on a farm south of Abilene.
“I was going through a gate on a really windy day and the gate was making all these noises,” Wedel said. “So I decided I was going to do a sculpture with the wind.”
The entire structure which took 6 months to weld is made out of pipes and all the ends are open. Most of the statue is salvaged material.
“The headdress is made out of old classroom chair legs and the skirt is made out of old chairs,” Wedel said. “The face and spear is copper. Most of the structure is opened pipe.”
Wedel said he has always had this great empathy for the Indian Nation.
“At one time historians say there were three to 18 million Indians living in America,” he said. “Over 90 percent of those died from the diseases brought in by the European immigrants. On our farm (25 miles south of Abilene) we have some residential artifacts. So this Indian is made to go to our cabin to honor those Indians.
“My goal was to make somebody that was proud and strong and athletic,” he added.
“One thing about the Indians, they lived in harmony with the land,” he said. “They had a great society. It’s not our fault that it happened but it did happen. They were part of the land like the animals. They didn’t dominate the land like we have done. They didn’t cut down the trees. They lived with what was there in a really pretty great society.
Wedel welded the structure together with a stick welder using skills left over from his days as an industrial arts instructor teaching metal shop at Abilene High School.
He built it on the trailer and is not quite sure how to get the 500 pounds sculpture off the trailer. He said he’ll be moving it soon but isn’t quite sure yet how he is going to unload it.