Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Prescott landscape architect’s design to honor Navajo Code Talkers

[Source: Native American Times] -- What makes memorial art monumental isn’t bronze, marble or eternal flames. It’s the power it has to evoke fitting remembrance of those it venerates. How to do this for Arizona Navajo Code Talkers whose unbreakable military code helped secure United States victory in some of World War II’s most famous battles? And how to do it with landscape? These were the questions Landscape Architect Barnabas Kane pondered when he sat down to design the landscape portion of the Navajo Code Talkers Monument, a state memorial project scheduled to be erected in downtown Phoenix Feb. 28.

Kane’s project aims to honor the Arizonans among more than 400 Navajo code talkers who developed the code and used it to transmit orders, troop movements and military tactics in every US Marine Corps assault in the war’s Pacific theater between 1942 and 1945, including Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. They based the code on the highly symbolic spoken Navajo language, to which they added encrypted vocabulary that made the code one of the only ones skilled Japanese code-breakers never demystified. The Navajo Code Talkers Monument, a project approved by the state legislature in 2003, is to be placed in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, part of the State Capital complex that’s home to similar memorials for state and national historic figures. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]