An Arrow Through Time

Afri commissioned Choctaw artist Gary (Waylon) White Deer to create this piece entitled “An Arrow Through Time” about the 1847 Choctaw donation to the victims of the Irish Famine.

“There is a teaching among our peoples that says feeding someone is the greatest thing you can do, because when you do that, you’re extending human life. We have to assume they told us of the depths of the famine, touching on the incredible loss of life and the dispossession… these were common themes to my people at the time. Having gone through that deprivation, there was an automatic empathy.


I guess we’re really trying to complete the circle. We don’t know, just like the Choctaw people in 1847 didn’t know, how their modest actions, their concern at the time, would result in something beautiful happening now…


If we can turn those tragedies round that’s the way the circle can be completed, because that’s the way it was started.


It’s an arrow being shot. It might land way in the future.  But someday your children, or grandchildren, are going to walk through time and they’re going to come to that spot where that arrow landed and there’ll be a blessing waiting there for them.”


– Gary (Waylon) White Deer of the Choctaw Nation talking about his people’s contribution to the Irish during the famine years.  

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