Chief Leatherlips Monument
Since our long ago visit to an older, nondescript Chief Leatherlips Monument, a more interesting one has been added near his death site in a Columbus suburb. A sculpture made out of native limestone slabs, visitors can easily stand on the head of the great Wyandot Indian chief.
Chief Leatherlips, according to the accompanying plaque, "was a good friend of Indian and white man alike. To the Wyandots, chief Leatherlips was called SHA-TE-YAH-RON-YA, which means 'same size as blue.'" The white settlers called him Leatherlips because of "his admirable trait of never breaking a promise."
The Dublin Arts Council commissioned the work by Boston artist Ralph Helmick and dedicated it in Scioto Park on July 1, 1990. The Leatherlips Monument is a twelve-foot high portrait, the chief's hair blown back and receding into the hillside (reminiscent Chief Crazy Horse's profile in South Dakota). Limestone slabs are mortared together to form the head, which gazes west towards the Scioto River.
Easy access to the back of the chief permits visitors to pose as bits of his scalp. Chief Leatherlips is believed to have located his last hunting camp in this spot. In 1810 he was executed by tomahawk on the orders of his brother, Roundhead, for being too friendly with the white settlers.
The other Leatherlips Monument is a few miles further north on Riverside Drive.