Lawrence event to focus on project to return sacred boulder to Kaw Nation

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

The scared red boulder, pictured Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, is a red quartzite rock that sits in Robinson Park in downtown Lawrence across from City Hall. In 1929, a group of Lawrence officials arranged to take the boulder from the Shunganunga Creek near Tecumseh, where the creek joins with the Kansas River — a site that was sacred to the Kanza tribe.

Members of the public are invited to attend an event next month focused on the long-running project to return a sacred boulder to the Kaw Nation.

The 28-ton red quartzite boulder, Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe — which is pronounced “EE(n) ZHOO-jay wah-HO-bay” and literally means “sacred red rock” — was stolen from the homelands of the Kaw Nation in 1929 and made into a monument to the settlers of Lawrence. It has been located since then in Robinson Park, which is across from City Hall in downtown Lawrence.

The educational event is slated for 3 p.m. April 1 at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. The Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe Project leadership team will give a public presentation on the project, which is funded by the Mellon Foundation Monuments Project Initiative. The $5 million, 30-month project is led by members of the Kaw Nation in collaboration with the City of Lawrence, University of Kansas, Spencer Museum of Art, Kanza Heritage Society and others.

The event will feature an introduction to the leadership team’s activity guide and responses to community questions. Afterward, audience members are invited to walk over to explore Robinson Park. Snacks will be provided, and all participants are welcome.

The plan is to relocate the stone to the Kaw Nation’s Allegawaho Memorial Heritage Park, near Council Grove, as the Journal-World has previously reported.

More information about the project is available at


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.