Tamanend (1994)

by Raymond Sandoval (1958 - )

Photo Caption: Photo courtesy Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
  • Title

    Tamanend

  • Artist

    Raymond Sandoval (1958 - )

  • Year

    1994; installed 1995

  • Location

    Historic East Market Street, Front and Market Streets

  • Medium

    Bronze, on Wissahickon schist

  • Dimensions

    Height 21′ (base 16′)

  • Themes

    Native American Themes

Commissioned by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Streets, and Historic East Market Street, Inc.

Owned by the City of Philadelphia

At A Glance

  • Chief Tamanend stands atop a turtle while an eagle with a wampum belt in its grasp is perched on his shoulder

  • The turtle symbolized Mother Earth and the eagle represented a messenger of the Great Spirit

  • The site-specific sculpture faces Alexander Milne Calder’s William Penn atop City Hall

"Tamanend" Native American bronze sculpture in the city of Philadelphia after a recent conservation treatment. Figure has one arm outstretched with a bird on his shoulder and he stands on a turtle.
Tamanend after the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (Creative Philadelphia) performed conservation treatment on the sculpture in fall 2020. Photo courtesy Creative Philadelphia.

Chief Tamanend, with a welcoming outstretched arm, stands atop a turtle while an eagle with a wampum belt in its grasp is perched on his shoulder. To the Lenni-Lenape tribe, who welcomed William Penn upon his arrival to Pennsylvania in 1682, the turtle symbolized Mother Earth and the eagle represented a messenger of the Great Spirit. Tamanend was the leader of the Lenni-Lanape tribe, and the belt held in the eagle’s talons signifies a friendship treaty agreed upon between Penn, Tamanend, and other Native Americans.

Revered by many as a symbol of peace, Tamanend was named a “Patron Saint of America,” and May 1st was considered “Tamanend Day.”

Artist Raymond Sandoval’s site-specific sculpture is installed at Front and Market Streets, facing Alexander Milne Calder’s William Penn atop City Hall. Standing more than 20 feet tall and weighing nearly 4 tons, Tamanend was unveiled in June 1995.

In fall 2020, the sculpture received a significant conservation treatment from the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (Creative Philadelphia). See the before and after photos >>

 

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