The following is from the petition started by Charleston’s Kelly Gaskins and can be found at change.org:
Charles Towne Landing is permanently removing their wooden Indian sculpture from the park with no plans to preserve it.
To honor Native Americans, Peter Toth carved a sculpture called the Landing Brave and donated it to Charles Towne Landing in 1977. He donated his time and resources so that visitors would recognize the Native American contribution to our historical fabric. The carving depicts the head of an Indian brave wearing a feather headdress. The magnificent sculpture was carved from an old oak tree and measures approximately 22 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 ft. Since 1977, The Landing Brave has not only served as a tribute to Native Americans but it has also been a backdrop to countless family photos of visiting travelers from all over the world!
According to the park’s director of corporate communications the ridiculous reason for the Indian sculpture removal is because it is <quote> “not historically accurate to Charles Towne Landing.” She stated the sculpture <quote> “does not depict the Kiawah (Indians), the Yemassee(Indians) or the Edisto (Indians) or any of the cultures that were in South Carolina at the time.” According to the Landing Brave creator, Peter Toth, the sculpture is intended to pay tribute to the Native American culture by highlighting the significance of the regional tribes in South Carolina.
This communications director also said the sculpture is a safety issue because of its age and rotting. When asked directly if anyone had been injured from the sculpture she said removing it is a preventative measure. Here’s why that doesn’t make sense: In 2005 the Landing Brave sculpture was restored and treated for termites. The creator, Peter Toth says the sculpture was carved from oak and should last 100+ years with minimal care. If the park wanted to, they could install a safety barrier around the sculpture. The park has no interest in preserving or maintaining the sculpture–just removing it permanently.
The Native Americans have always held a deep respect for the land and to take only what was needed, and to thank every plant, animal, or thing that was used. They were conservationists and ecologists long before this became popular. Charles Towne Landing now has an opportunity to follow the examples set forth by the Native American people by keeping & preserving this historically relevant sculpture.
Your help is absolutely necessary to save the Landing Brave sculpture! Your voices must be heard to demand it stays in the park for future visitors to enjoy! Here’s how you can help:
1.) Please sign the petition!
2.) Call or email the director of the state park service: Phil Gaines: firstname.lastname@example.org
3.) Post on the Charles Towne Landing YELP page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/charles-towne-landing-state-historic-site-charleston
4.) Post on the Charles Towne Landing Trip Advisor page: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g54171-d144262-Reviews-Charles_Towne_Landing_State_Historic_Site-Charleston_South_Carolina.html
5.) Visit the park office at Charles Towne Landing or call to demand the Landing Brave stay in the park! They are located at 1500 Old Towne Rd, Charleston, SC 29407
PHONE: (843) 852-4200
PARK MANAGER: ROB POWELL
ASSISTANT PARK MANAGER: JASON ROBINETT
6.) Contact your media or lawmaker friends and request their help in raising awareness about the Landing Brave and making noise to keep it in the park!
State Park Director: Phil Gaines