Created By: Wichita History Walk
The Keeper of the Plains has become one of the most enduring modern symbols of Wichita. Its creator, Blackbear Bosin, established his art studio at this location from 1972-1980. Now occupied by Delano BBQ, they feature information about the artist inside for diners to enjoy.
One of the founders of the Mid-America All Indian Center, Blackbear Bosin's family was Kiowa on his father's side and Comanche on his mother's side. He was named after his great-grandfather, “Sate-Kon-Gia” (Blackbear), a chief of the Kiowas. Bosin was a native of Oklahoma who came to Wichita in 1941 as an aircraft employee. In 1944, he enlisted in the Marines and served in the Pacific Theater. While in Hawaii, he developed his painting skills. When he returned to Wichita he worked at McConnell Air Force Base, where his artistic talent was recognized and he worked in the visual aids service.
Blackbear Bosin designed the Keeper of the Plains sculpture, and it was installed in 1974. He received numerous awards for his art through the years, and the Mid-America All Indian Center has the largest public collection of his art. He died in 1980 at the age of 59.
Photos courtesy of the Mid-America All-Indian Center
This point of interest is part of the tour: Wild West Delano