Although the tongue weighs very little, very few people are able to hold it. -Anonymous
Question #79205 posted on 09/21/2014 2:12 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am writing a story for the Universe on the statues on BYU's campus. I need help finding information about these statues that aren't available on BYU's Y Facts website. For example, someone told me there is a myth about one of the statues that if you hold the hand, you'll be married in six months. I need more myths or rumors about statues that BYU doesn't necessarily share.




Dear Weeping Angel,

I'd recommend looking in the Folklore Archives in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. There's at least one source to get you started: The Y Files: campus folklore at Brigham Young University. The reference assistants down there will be happy to help you find more related items.

-Tally M.


Dear Kenzie,

Some of these are less myths/rumors as they are interesting facts:

"The Tree of Life Statue" is a property on the BYU-opoly board game (which you can borrow from the Wilk's info desk), although the real name of the statue is "The Tree of Wisdom." Everyone calls the Massasoit statue the "naked Indian." People joke about how the parents in the Forever Family/"First Child" statue don't seem to be wearing wedding rings (also mentioned in a couple Bunyion articles along with Massasoit's dress code violations and the Maeser statue's beard). When that statue is covered in plastic wrap for rivalry week, it is said that family is "sealed." Evidently there is a BYU-statues-related geocacheThe Universe has already written a piece describing the legend that the Brigham Young statue had a beard before beards were banned at BYU, and then the statue was changed so that it was Honor Code-compliant. (The article can also be found in the recent "BYU Mythbusters" document.) Back before changes to the area surrounding the Brigham Young statue, you used to be able to see the statue do the "funky chicken" dance. I've never heard the one about being married in six months, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was a popular template for many rumorsif you drink from this water fountain, or if you take this class, or if you study on this floor, you'll get a date/get engaged/be married in __ months!

Also, incidentally, the Brigham Young statue article claims rumor was first recorded on the 100 Hour Board--where we are described as "volunteer 'know-it-alls'." I don't know if I should be proud or miffed.


posted on 09/21/2014 6:52 p.m.
If you go to the "First Child" statue (the one east of the HRCB) you can see that the fingers of the mother and father have been rubbed shiny by years of students trying to get married before graduation.

Also, from the archives we have that students have been known to draw chalk circles around the Maeser statue (or better yet near but not around the Maeser statue. See the answer by Jokey Board Question #7686).

Also, there have been plenty of rumors and confusion over saran-wrapped statues. There are too many questions in the archives on that to reference here. Just use the search function.

Also, see Board Question #40890 for some information about Skooter Washburn and the Naked Indian Protests of '03, and a rumor about professors spying on students' comments about the statue.

Finally, my favorite, if you stand in the middle of the tree of wisdom and sing the right frequency it resonates very loudly. See Board Question #77008.

Justin Gardiner