Monday, July 14, 2008

"My lands are where my dead lie buried"

I love the story of Crazy Horse--he was a rebel way back before we knew what rebels were. He was Lakota, who lived only 33 years, but led a group to the defeat of General Custer.

We went to the monument on Saturday afternoon, in South Dakota.

I learned some odd facts that I did not know. This will be the world's largest sculpture, if it is ever finished. It all started as a response to Mt Rushmore, when Chief Standing Bear wrote to Korczak Ziolowski, the sculptor saying that "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes, too."

Work began in 1948 and I am sure we will not live to see it completed. Partly that is due to lack of funding--the sculptor turned down federal money to work on the memorial, believing that if it was federally funded, the intent of the project would be lost.

The only part that is really done is his head. The horse's head is blocked out, but they have not started work on that part otherwise. When it is done, it will be 641 feet wide and 563 feet tall.

The rock is blasted away to make the different parts. The hole that is in it now is going to be the part between his arm and the horse's back.

Another interesting thing is that there are no known photos of Crazy Horse anywhere---his likeness was taken from descriptions of him, and is not intended to actually look like him but instead, it is to embody his spirit. I am not sure how that works, but whatever.

Another interesting thing is that the memorial is very controversial among fellow Native Americans, many of whom believe that to destroy the mountain is a violation of Crazy Horse's spirit.

It really is impressive, but I can kind of see that point as well.


Holly said...

American has had some incredibly intelligent, bigger than life heros reside in this country and he was one of them.

Anonymous said...

Your comparison photo showing the arm hole area of the statue and mountain are impressive in itself.

Started in 1948---we saw in 1982--and just a little of head and nose and one had to really look hard at the "rock".

Now in 2008 68 years later----Wow--there is progress.

Perhaps you and Barry can go out again in your "late retirement years" to see his horse.

Heheh and enjoy Carol

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