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Tamanend (sculpture)

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Type  sculpture
Created  1817
Year  1817
Medium  wood, then bronze
Media  Bronze
Tamanend (sculpture) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Artist  William Luke (1790-1839)
Subject  Figurehead of the USS Delaware
Dimensions  2.4 m × 1.5 m × 1.2 m (96 in × 59 in × 46 in)
Location  United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
Owner  United States Naval Academy

Tamanend sculpture top 6 facts


Tamanend was honored as the figurehead of USS Delaware in a carving by William Luke. Delaware was burned in 1861 at the Gosport Navy Yard to prevent Confederate capture at the start of the Civil War. In 1868, the saved figurehead, officially titled Tamanend, Chief of Delaware Indians, was transferred to the United States Naval Academy. It was placed on a pedestal outdoors, and simply labeled as "the figurehead of the Delaware". In 1906, the figure was repaired with "cement, putty and paint". It was later replaced with a bronze depiction in 1930 presented by the class of 1891. The bronze was cast at the U.S. Naval Gun Factory in 1929–30.

Contents

Tamanend, a pacifist and friend to William Penn, did not inspire the midshipmen of the Academy. They eventually took to calling the figurehead Tecumseh, after the Shawnee warrior chief and ally of the British, who was killed in the Battle of the Thames during the War of 1812.

FIGUREHEAD
OF THE
USS
DELAWARE
1817
BRONZE REPLICA
GIFT OF THE
CLASS OF 1891

U.S. Naval Gun Factory
Navy Yard Washington, D.C.
1929

Description

A portrait of Chief Tamanend wearing three feathers on top of his head and carrying a quiver filled with arrows on his back. The sculpture rests atop a tall square base. The sculpture is a bronze cast of the wooden ships figurehead carved by William Luke for the USS Delaware. This bronze replica was cast from the wooden original in 1930 at the U.S. Navy gun factory.

Luke's original wooden carving was refurbished again in 1970, and now can be found in the Academy's visitor center. In 1930, it's "heart" and "brains" had been placed inside the class gift to provide a continuity of presence.

The statue is positioned on a base of Vermont marble immediately in front of Bancroft Hall, and measures 96 by 59 by 46 inches (2.4 m × 1.5 m × 1.2 m). The area between the figurehead and Bancroft Hall is called Tecumseh Court.

Inscriptions

On the front base of the statue:

FIGUREHEAD
OF THE
USS
DELAWARE
1817
BRONZE REPLICA
GIFT OF THE
CLASS OF 1891

On the statue's bronze base, to the rear:

U.S. Naval Gun Factory
Navy Yard Washington, D.C.
1929

Traditions

Tecumseh (the name having become accepted) is now referred to as the "God of 2.0", the passing grade point average at the academy. Midshipmen toss pennies at the monument for good luck in their examinations and Army-Navy competitions.

It is a long standing 9th company tradition for Tecumseh to be painted before every major event and home game (e.g for Parents' Weekend in August, Homecoming in the fall, before Army-Navy contests, and for Commissioning Week in May.)

References

Tamanend (sculpture) Wikipedia


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