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Crazy Horse

August 19, 2010

Seventeen miles from Mt. Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakota,  is the site dedicated to Crazy Horse.  He was a warrior chief of the Oglala Lakota Sioux.

The memorial consists of the mountain carving (monument), the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Cultural Center.  The monument is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain on land considered sacred by Native Americans.

Unlike Mt. Rushmore, which is managed by the National Park Service, this is privately funded and maintained.  The memorial was commissioned by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear as a way to honor Native Americans and their heroes.

Standing Bear selected Korczak Ziolkowski, who was an assistant to Borglum at Mt. Rushmore.  Not only was Ziolkowski a sculptor, he was a fierce believer in the free enterprise system and did not want the government involved in his work.  That is why it has been privately funded.  The federal government offered him $20,000,000 and he turned them down.

The carving was started 1948 and is ongoing.  The picture at the top is how it currently looks and this picture is a miniature sculpting of how it will look when complete. Notice the hole in the top picture which is where the space under his arm is in this photo.

Ziolkowski died in 1982 but his wife and children continue working to complete the carving.

When the total project is completed it will include a University and Medical Training Center for Native American people.

As collectors of American Indian art we found the museum overwhelming, there was so much to see.  I took this picture of this marvelous head-dress.

The monument was so inspiring I’m thinking of having a mountain carving of Sue.  This is what it may look like.

We’re off to the Little Big Horn tomorrow where we’ll see Crazy Horse again.

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