Since 1866, a statue of a proud Indian chief has inspected and perhaps passed good luck along to prospective officers. The original wooden version of the Delaware chief Tamanend was carved in 1817 and served as the figurehead of the USS Delaware. At the Academy, it was renamed and, in 1930, replaced by a bronze replica. Midshipmen have been known to curry its favor by throwing pennies at its feet, gussying it up with war paint, even saluting as they walk by.
Nanine Hartzenbusch/Baltimore Sun