Big Indian at the Moqui Indian Trading Post (1991).
Big Indian at the Moqui Indian Trading Post (1991).

Big Seated Indian Chief

Field review by the editors.

Fort Duchesne, Utah

For a long time, a giant peace pipe-holding Indian chief in a feathered headdress sat cross-legged outside a trading post business. It was built out of cement by Darrell Gardner in 1976, part of a tableau that included a big teepee.

The Moqui Indian Trading Post, which first opened in 1969, went out of business in 2008. A local group rallied to save the statue from destruction; the figure survived. The trading post building became a nail salon.

Beyond his attention-getting duties, we don't know if the sculpture was intended as a tribute to a specific Native American chief. The town of Roosevelt City was created by homesteaders on former Ute tribal lands, and the location is currently on Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation lands.

As of 2020, the figure had been moved east of Roosevelt to a travel plaza in Fort Duchesne.

Big Seated Indian Chief

Address:
7750 US-40, Fort Duchesne, UT
Directions:
East of Roosevelt, SE corner of Hwy 7500 E and 200 N, US Hwy 191.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Ute Indians Veterans ParkUte Indians Veterans Park, Fort Duchesne, UT - 1 mi.
Sidney the Saloon DogSidney the Saloon Dog, Myton, UT - 13 mi.
Seasonally Decorated DinosaurSeasonally Decorated Dinosaur, Vernal, UT - 20 mi.
In the region:
Dine-A-Ville Pink Dinosaur, Vernal, UT - 21 mi.

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