(ODD)yssey, Blog Post

The story of those giant Indian heads and how you can see them

If you travel along the South’s back roads, chances are you’ve come across at least one 20- or 30-foot tall Indian head carved from a massive tree. These unusual and detailed works of art – which range from 15 to 40 feet high – were created by artist Peter Wolf Toth to honor our country’s native people. In 1988, he completed his goal of carving one to display in every U.S. state – and he donates his works!

Sweetums and I have seen four of the giant heads and I found our photos of the ones in Cherokee, N.C. and Cleveland, Tenn., which are shared here. The works are known as Whispering Giants. See photos of the sculptures in every state on the Waymarking site by clicking here.

Toth, who was born in Hungary in 1947, has also done sculptures for other countries but I only recently learned you can see and purchase smaller versions of his art at a museum in Florida. The Peter Wolf Toth Museum is located in Edgewater, Fla. For information, call 386-795-0291. The money Toth makes from the mini sculptures helps fund his larger works.

How does he decide what to carve? He has been quoted: “I study the Indians of the area, then visualize an Indian within the log. It is a composite of all the native people of the state.”

Peter Toth Indian head in Cleveland, Tenn. (Photo by Wil Elrick)
Toth Indian head in Cherokee, N.C. (Photo by Wil Elrick)

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