Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Crazy Horse

For those of you that dont know Crazy Horse was the war chief of the Lakota Indians, and lead them into battle at the Litte Big Horn. He refused to sign any treaties or live on a reservation for his whole life evading capture until the clan master Red Cloud insisted he turn himself in when he signed a peace treaty. Crazy Horse did as instructed and was detained in a local jail to await transportation to a reservation. However he was tragically killed whilst in jail by a guard who stabbed him in the back while he was apparently trying to escape.
Crazy Horse was a legendary worrier for all Native Americans, not just for his battle skills but for his believes and the moral justice he wanted for his people.

He said:-    "The white man made many promises, but kept only one. They promised to take our land"

In 1948 Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear asked sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who was in-fact busy helping carve Mount Rushmore just down the road, if he would create a sculpture for the Native American Cultural Museum. He graciously agreed to take on the mammoth task and single handedly started work on the Crazy Horse carving. After spending 34 years on the project, and refusing to take any salary for his services Korczak died age 74. He is buried at the foot of the Crazy Horse Memorial. His wife now manages the continuing work on the sculpture which is solely funded by donations and visitor fees.

So what does it look like? Well its a very ambitious dream. A wonderful idea designed by the sculptor and Lakota indians, but as they have refused any government funding, wanting it to stay as genuine as possible it seems a very distant dream. As work started 50 years ago, and they have only finished his head, the huge sculpture of a Lakota War Chief pointing into the distance from the back of his trusted steed seems very, very far away.

But he is an awesome sight. His huge features bursting out of the rock face, strong and assertive in his expression. Very realistic. Which is pretty cool considering there are no pictures of Crazy Horse himself. All the sculptor had to go on was word of mouth from the last 5 remaining Lakota warriors that road with him...

It dont look it, but thats a pretty big head...

A poster showing the scale of the carving.

A scale model of how he is supposed to look finished.

I would just like to add that we visited Crazy Horse under the instruction of our neighbours Buddy and Dianna, who insisted it was not to be missed. Cheers guys. We are so glad we went. xxx

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