Southwestern Branch Ta-Que-Ne-Whap Award

The Ta-que-ne-whap Award (pronounced Ta-k-ne-wa) for Distinguished Leadership and Service to the Southwestern Branch, Entomological Society of America, was established by the Branch Executive Committee to honor those members who, over a long period of years, have contributed exceptional leadership and service to the Branch.

The award consists of a cast bronze bust of an Indian Chief in full headdress. The bronze bust was created by Dr. H. Grant Kinzer (Branch member from new Mexico State University), a noted sculptor of western art whose pieces are displayed in galleries throughout the U.S. and collected by such noted personalities as John Wayne.

The old chief symbolizes one who has lead and cared for his society over a long period, through good times and bad; giving of himself for the betterment of others. His long service is etched in the wrinkles of his face and brow, but his eyes look unblinkingly into the future. His full headdress depicts the many leadership roles, recognitions and honors that he has earned over the years which validate his sage words of council and guidance.

The bust rests on a symbolic pedestal of mesquite wood. The mesquite is found growing throughout the Branch area and is noted for its ability to survive under harsh conditions and flourish under more favorable times. It is a tough wood that weathers well and retains its strength. Under its rough bark, one finds an often hidden inner quality of beautiful grain and color.

The base is of tipu-tipuwana wood. The tipu-tipuwana was imported into the Branch area and grown in our southern regions. The tipu-tipuwana, thus, symbolizes the characteristic of our awardee who is open to new concepts and ideas which, although foreign to him/her, may have merit and value.

The pedestal and base were crafted by Mr. Herbert A. Dean (a Branch Member from Weslaco, Texas, a noted worker of native and exotic woods). The name of the Award (Ta-que-ne-whap) comes from the southern Comanche dialect and means Chief. The southern Comanche tribe dominated the heart of the Branch area prior to the coming of the white man. They were fiercely independent but willing to defend their society, its interests and values regardless of personal risks. The name was suggested by Dr. Don R. Rummel (a Branch member from Lubbock, Texas).

It should be noted that such worthy individuals as these recipients are rare and do not pass our way frequently. Therefore, it is the intent of the Executive Committee that this award will not be given on an annual basis, but only as justified as an exceptional record of leadership and service to the Branch. The membership should continually be on the alert for such deserving individuals and petition future Executive Committees to consider those members deemed worthy as was done with the original recipients.

For nomination procedures and deadlines please contact the chair of the Awards and Honors Committee.

View the list of those who have previously received this award.

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