The Choctaw Nation and The Great Hunger

A sculpture of nine eagle feathers by Alex Pentek has been installed in Midleton, County Cork, to thank the Choctaw Indians for their kindness and support during The Great Hunger. On hearing of the plight of the Irish people in 1847 they raised $170 to send to ease their suffering. This is the equivalent of  many thousands of dollars in today’s currency.

In a surprising and generous contribution to the Irish people, Choctaw people collected the money in Oklahoma and passed it on to a U.S. famine relief organization. It was an extraordinary act of kindness from those who already had so little.

Views: 556

Tags: An Gorta Mor, Famine, History of Ireland, Philanthropy

Comment by David Lawlor on July 25, 2015 at 4:34pm

The Choctaw are a remarkable people. I've written a book on this very subject, which has yet to be published. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Des Wade on July 26, 2015 at 2:21am

When is the book due to be published? And what's the title?

Comment by David Lawlor on July 26, 2015 at 2:26am

It's a novel, The Native Irishman, about a 'mixed race Choctaw, who brings the money back to Ireland. It will be published next year.

Comment by Mairead Geary on July 26, 2015 at 10:44pm

Good luck with your novel, David. And thanks for the wonderful picture of this sculpture commemorating the generosity of the Choctaw nation. "The Long March: The Choctaw Nation's Gift To Irish Famine Relief" is a children's book I have read to my children to teach them about the incredible link between the Choctaw and the Irish.

Comment by David Lawlor on July 27, 2015 at 4:44am

Thank you Mairead. I've read that book, it has lovely illustrations. Des, I'm such a dope - I didn't realise that you are the artist who created this work. Congratulations, it's wonderful

Comment by Des Wade on July 27, 2015 at 5:02am

I wish, David! I'm not the creator of the feathers - it is by Cork sculptor Alex Pentek. I wrote the song Before the Hunger which I have recently posted on TWiG.

Comment by David Lawlor on July 27, 2015 at 5:22am

Des, I just read the lyrics and listened to Before The Hunger. It's a great song, well sung and full of passion. In it's own way it's as expressive and carefully crafted as Alex Pentek's feathers. Well done.

Comment by Des Wade on July 27, 2015 at 6:52am

Thanks David.

Comment by Mairead Geary on July 27, 2015 at 1:14pm

Hi Des - I just listened to your song - it's brilliant - soulful and poignant - conveying the great tragedy and sorrow of those dreadful times. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Comment by Thomas j shea on August 11, 2015 at 4:56pm
What it about, title doesn't catch me, native Americans n Irish? When did path collide....or are u talk bout the so called "scotch-Irish " whom was given Irish northern land to by da English n da crown, eh.? Or m I way off boyo?

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