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The End of the Trail
"The End of the Trail" is one of America's most iconic images. The original sculputure was created by James Fraser in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco. Fraser wanted to depict the Native American as race of proud, spiritual people moving into a new century. The medicine bag and the strong wind whisking behind the figure and his horse represent the spiritual side of the Native people. The exposed musculature of the figure behind the buffalo robe represent the strength of the Native American.
Fraser was awarded the gold medal for sculpture, and The End of the Trail quickly gained widespread recognition. Following the conclusion of the Exposition, many artists wished to have their sculptures cast in bronze, but this was not possible since the United States entered into World War I, and the materials for making bronze became very scarce. Thus, the plaster sculptures were tossed into a mud pit at Marina Park. Residents of Tulare County, California, rescued The End of Trail in 1919 and relocated the piece to Mooney Grove Park, near Visalia, California. In 1968 the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum acquired the plaster piece and had it restored. The restored statue is currently on display in the entryway of the Oklahoma City museum.
James Fraser also designed the Indian Head or Buffalo nickel in 1913 and the Navy Cross, the second highest military decoration for valor that may be awarded to a member of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard for extraordinary heroism in combat.