Have you ever been curious about Ocean City’s Native American sculpture? Well, here’s your chance to learn more about it!
We’ve all seen the Native American sculpture as we pass through the Ocean City Inlet — it’s nearly impossible to miss! The sculpture is always towering over the area with a serious face, a single feather in his headband, and an attentive gaze as people, the sea, and time pass it by. You can look into its eyes and feel like it’s a real person. And I’m sure there are plenty of people who wonder about this wooden guardian’s story and the person who created it. So, keep on scrolling as we share some information about this awesome Ocean City landmark!
First, we’ll start off by saying that the totem pole’s name is “Nanticoke,” and it has been around since 1976 in the Inlet Park area! The sculpture is made out of oak and is 20 feet tall (we weren’t kidding when we said the sculpture towered over the area!). And “Nanticoke” was a part of a series of sculptures by the artist Peter Wolf Toth, called the “Whispering Giants.”
According to his website, Toth began his life in the newly-formed Republic of Hungary where he dealt with violence and unfairness until his family fled during the 1956 uprising. After fleeing, his family eventually made it to the United States where they took up residence in Akron, Ohio. It was here that Toth became very interested in the culture and past of native North Americans.
As he grew older, he briefly studied art in college before deciding to travel around the United States, which would lead him to create the first sculpture in his “Whispering Giants” series. And because of this piece, he decided he would make a sculpture of a Native American for each state because he wanted to honor them as a people and because he felt their story was similar to his own in Hungary. He achieved this goal by 1988, and that’s how we ended up with “Nanticoke” watching over the Inlet!
What did you think of “Nanticoke” the first time you saw it? What do you think of “Nanticoke’s” backstory? Are you curious about the other sculptures in Toth’s “Whispering Giants” series? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below!