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.
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The Choctaw are a remarkable people. I've written a book on this very subject, which has yet to be published. Thanks for sharing.
When is the book due to be published? And what's the title?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.