Hoxovestave (Journey Across Country)
Honoring Indigenous Histories: A Look at Denver’s Hoxovestave Installation
The installation features a series of 16 aluminum signs that are installed along the Cherry Creek bike path in Denver. Each sign is inscribed with a message in both English and Cheyenne, which is meant to honor the Cheyenne and Arapaho people who once inhabited the land where Denver now stands.
The installation was created by artist Edgar Heap of Birds, who is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. The title of the artwork, “Hoxovestave,” is a Cheyenne word meaning “a journey across country.”
The messages on the signs include phrases such as “Respect our Existence or Expect Resistance,” “We Have Surrounded the Land With Our Prayers,” and “Forty Miles North of Here a Massacre Occurred.” These messages are meant to provoke thought and spark conversations about the history and ongoing struggles of Native American communities in the United States.
The installation was originally created in 2005 as part of the Biennial of the Americas, and has since become a permanent fixture in Denver. It has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review Award in 2006.
Overall, the Hoxovestave: Journey Across Country installation is a powerful and thought-provoking work of public art that honors the history and culture of Native American communities in Denver and beyond. Edgar Heap of Birds’ use of language and symbolism is both poignant and effective, and the installation serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in our society.