Sunday, August 21, 2011

Catawba Indian Memorial

It took a few days to get back to this subject. I have even more to say about it in future and I'll try to finish posting some photos and comments tomorrow. For now, I have to rewrite a short story for an anthology. The editor asked for some logical changes and I need to finish that project.

As I said earlier, this is one of the more unusual Confederate Memorial parks that I have ever seen. One of the monuments there is dedicated to the local Catawba Indian nation. Like all of the nations that were here before the Europeans, the Catawbas have suffered terribly. One thing that they did--probably in an effort to ultimately survive--was to bend before the white man. That is, they largely sided with whites against other Indian nations and did their utmost to keep from being wiped out by the flood of Europeans. This they have (barely) managed to do. Of course there hasn't even been a fluent speaker of their native tongue since some time in the 1950s, and most of the Catawbas I've met look whiter than I do. But they still have a dab of a reservation and there is something remaining of their culture. So in that respect I reckon that their ploy to survive worked.

To this end, the local folk who created the park to honor the Confederacy erected a monument there for the local Indian tribe. To pat them on their collective head for being good neighbors, I suppose. Still, it's an unusual marker to see in what in most southern cities is a uniquely white-boys-only club.

Robert Garrett Marks informed me that the statue (unfortunately cast from concrete rather than carved of marble) was vandalized by local kids when he was in high school. It has since remained ruined. I guess there's no money in the box to fix Indian monuments.

The Catawba Indian monument in the Confederate park.

Details on the marble support column.

Closeup of the statue itself. Garrett told me that the arms were hacked off by teens some years back and that repairs have never been deemed important enough to tackle. I wonder if those cast concrete limbs are still in the possession of some dim-bulb asswipe.

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