|Crazy Horse Memorial - face is completed; the white paint designates the 45 ft. ear|
and 16 ft. wide eye of the 22 story-high horse. SOOC (straight of the camera)
taken from the parking lot at the Welcome Center.
|Prototype with Mountain Carving Progress on Mountain|
in Background. Made from Viewing Veranda
Mt. Rushmore inspired Chief Henry Standing Bear and Lakota leaders, that "red men have great heroes also." They chose sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to create the statue of Crazy Horse. Korczak had won 1st prize at New York's World Fair for his sculpture: PADEREWSKI: Study of an Immortal in 1939.
Before his death in 1982 Korczak did much more than rough out the contours of the carving, starting in 1948. He established a museum and a scholarship fund for American Indian students. He inspired his wife and 7 of his 10 children to continue the memorial's mission with a non-profit Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. He twice refused federal funding as he believed the intersted public should build the memorial.
The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is the heart not only of completing the sculpture, but starting the university courses, a Cultural center, enlarging the Indian Museum of North America, opened the Indian University of North America and its first student Living and Learning Center in 2010. The Scholarship Fund of the Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million since Korczak's original $250 in 1978.
Funding is entirely by visitor admissions and donations. No federal or state funds have been given to this massive project! It is a non-profit, education and cultural project financed primarily from an admission fee.
On the grounds of the memorial is Korczak's studio, home and workshop; Indian museums and Native American Cultural Center. There are optimistic plans for a medical training center to diseases peculiar to the Native American.
In an excerpt from an article by Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski about Crazy Horse, the Indian leader insofar as can be determined never signed a treaty or touched a pen. Crazy Horse was born on Rapid Creek in the Black Hills of South Dakota, about 1842. He died by a stab in the back by an American soldier, Sept. 6, 1877 at approx. age of 35 at Fort Robinson, Nebraska which was under a flag of truce.
The statue depicts Crazy Horse with his left hand thrown out pointing. Someone derisively asked him, after the government agents and army defeated the Lakota tribes, "where are your lands now." He replied , with his outstretched arm is pointing to the plains, "My lands are where my dead lie buried."
He lost his leader Conquering Bear who was exterminated by treachery. A treaty guaranteeing Black Hills (Paha Sapa) would forever be the land of the Sioux was broken. Government agents' promises included meat, clothing tents--all necessities for existence were worthless; the deceit was only realized after they relinquished their lands and retreated to the reservation located in the southern part of the Badlands--near worthless land. His people's lives were ravaged and destroyed.
In 1891 another Lakota, Red Cloud, said, "They made us many promises, more than I can remember--The never kept but one: they promised to take our land, and they took it."
I loved this place, maybe because I have a little native American (Cherokee) in me, but not of the so-called plains tribes. I loved the Indian Museum of North America, The Native American Cultural Center (friendly Native American artists and craftsman plied their trades here) and the sculptor's studio home. I would have loved to spend an entire day here absorbing the culture.
Before I end I must tell the story of the blue beads. There is a huge room of beads on exhibit and to sell. However, there a case enclosing a string of blue beads with a story that only a few were made, and sold. Until all the beads are together again, the monument will never be completed. These beads were used by fur traders doing business with Native Americans. It is said Manhattan was bought with similar beads. However, many consider all of this a legend.
Because of a large number of photos I have created a FLICKR slideshow. Click on FLICKR link in previous sentence and select (click on) slideshow in upper right of screen. Some of photos in this post are also there. But 16 photos a bit much for a post.
Further today Blogger will not let me put the photos on this post where I want them nor can I move them around. And the new composing window is difficult to see and read with stuff scattered all over the web site, not designed for a neophyte like me.
PHOTOS by NitWit1, unless otherwise identified.
Information garnered from our Road Scholar Guide, Exploring The Black Hills and Badlands (The Great American Road Trip), Rapid City Visitors Guide, Crazy Horse Brochure (Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation) and Internet.