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CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL SOUTH DAKOTA

October 8, 2011

 

the message of crazy horse  (A POEM)

By Lucille Clifton

i would sit in the center of the world,
the Black Hills hooped around me and
dream of my dancing horse. my wife
was Black Shawl who gave me the daughter
i called They Are Afraid Of Her.
i was afraid of nothing
except Black Buffalo Woman.
my love for her i wore
instead of feathers. i did not dance
i dreamed. i am dreaming now
across the worlds. my medicine is strong.
my medicine is strong in the Black basket
of these fingers. i come again through this
Black Buffalo woman. hear me;
the hoop of the world is breaking.
fire burns in the four directions.
the dreamers are running away from the hills.
____________________________________________
CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL
i have seen it. i am crazy horse.The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument complex that is under construction on privately held land in the Black Hills,in South Dakota. It represents Crazy Horse an Oglala Sioux warrior, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. The memorial was commissioned by Lakota elder Henry Standing Bear to be sculpted by Korczak Wiolkowski, It is operated by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, a private non-profit organization.

The memorial consists of the mountain carving (monument), the Indian Museum of North America, and the Native American Cultural Center. The sculpture’s final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet (195 m) wide and 563 feet (172 m) high. The head of Crazy Horse will be 87 feet (27 m) high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at  Mount Rushmoreare each 60 feet (18 m) high.

The monument has been in progress since 1948 and is still far from completion.[1

If completed, it may become the world’s largest sculpture.

 

History

The mountain carving was begun in 1948 by a Polish American sculptor Korczak Ziółkowski, who had worked on Mount Rushmore under Gutzon Borglum in 1924. In 1939, Ziolkowski had received a letter from Chief Henry Standing Bear, which stated in part “My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes, too.” Chief Henry Standing Bear and sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski scouted potential monument sites together. Ziolkowski wanted to carve the memorial in the Wyoming Tetons where the rock was better for sculpting, but the Sioux leaders insisted it be carved in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota.

The memorial is a non-profit undertaking, and receives no federal or state funding. Ziolkowski was offered $10 million from the federal government on two occasions, but he turned the offers down. Ziolkowski felt the project was more than just a mountain carving, and he feared that his plans for the broader educational as well as cultural goals for the memorial would be left behind with federal involvement.

Ziolkowski died in 1982. The entire complex is owned by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation. Ziolkowski’s wife Ruth and their ten children remain closely involved with the work, which has no fixed completion date. The face of Crazy Horse was completed and dedicated in 1998.

 

Controversy

Crazy Horse resisted being photographed, and was deliberately buried where his grave would not be found. Ziolkowski, however, envisioned the monument as a metaphoric tribute to the spirit of Crazy Horse and Native Americans. “My lands are where my dead lie buried,” supposedly said by Crazy Horse, is the intended interpretation of the monument’s expansive gesture.

Some traditional Lakota and Native Americans oppose this memorial. In a 2001 interview, the activist and actor Russell Means stated his objections to the memorial: “Imagine going to the holy land in Israel, whether you’re a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, and start carving up the mountain of Zion. It’s an insult to our entire being.” In a 1972 autobiography, Lame deer, a Lakota medicine man, said: “The whole idea of making a beautiful wild mountain into a statue of him is a pollution of the landscape. It is against the spirit of Crazy Horse.”

Certain other groups object to the pose of the statue. Pointing with the finger is uncommon amongst indigenous Americans, and is usually considered impolite.

 

 

 

 

 

MOCK UP OF THE CRAZY HORSE STATUE

 

 

CRAZY HORSE MONUMENT SEEN FROM A DISTANCE

 

 

CRAZY HORSE STATUE

 

 

CRAZY HORSE STATUE CLOSE UP

 

 

CRAZY HORSE STATUE SEEN FROM THE ROAD BELOW

 

 

Two videos about the Crazy Horse Memorial:

 

 

PHOTOS:

LEONARD EPSTEIN

JANELLE BURGESS

 

 

 

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