Memorial Of Native American Hero “Crazy Horse” Gradually Taking Shape In South Dakota


Ta-Sunko-Witko who is known as the Crazy Horse was a legendary warrior who was the leader of Lakota Oglala. He was a person who committed his life to safeguard the principles and the traditions of Sioux (Lakota) way of life.

The Crazy horse is a person who led his followers against the US federal government. He is also known for the death of General Custer during the Battle of Little Bighorn.

He was an iconic leader who believed that his followers “preferred their own way of living”, saying that they “were no expense to the government” and the only thing they wanted “was peace and to be left alone.”

The memorial of this prominent historical figure is under construction at the Black Hills of South Dakota at present. This monument provides a glimpse of spiritual significance to the people of the Lakota tribe.

The monument is located 17 miles distant from Mount Rushmore and it’s now becoming clearer. One of the contributors Charles Michael Ray stated, “when finished, [it] will dwarf the four presidents” of Mount Rushmore.

The memorial of the Crazy Horse has been under construction since 70 years and the constructors say that the whole course would take about 100 years to be completed.

Lakota Chief Standing Bear is the one who ordered one of the sculptors to make a monument with the face of his forefather, Ta-Sunko-Witko, in a similar way to the one in Mount Rushmore.

Standing Bear said the creative Polish-American sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, “my fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes too.”

At first, his dream was too heavy and big for him since no fund was provided by the government.

Luckily, Ziolkowski was a dreamer, and as per his wife, “he believed you can do anything in this world; nothing is impossible as long as you’re willing to work hard enough and pay the price.”

Ziolkowski had started sculpting the monument in 1948 and it’s believed to be the largest one in the entire world.

The project was continued throughout the past years even after his death in 1982. His wife, children as well as the grandchildren are involved in this hard task by now.

The sculptors were able to create the face of their hero through the mountains in the late 1990s.

They have been engaged in sculpting the hair of the Crazy Horse since the past two years.

The final sculpture would be a one which shows him riding a horse. It’s expected to be as high as 22 stories. Apart from the head and hair, the sculptors are now shaping the outstretched hand of Crazy Horse.

None of them can specify the finale of the project. However, Monique, Ziolkowski’s daughter stated that they were engaged in this for more than a decade.

Nowadays, mountain carving is done using high-technology. Monique also stated that they face a lot of challenges due to the cracks which appeared in the rock though they followed the model of their late father.

“He always said you had to work with Mother Nature because she’ll beat you every time. So that’s why we’re working with the engineers, and we will be putting bolts in for support, but the bulk of the mountain needs to stand on its own.”

Caleb Ziolkowski, who is one of the grandchildren of Ziolkowski states “it is hard from a mile away to see the changes”, but “since the time that I started this hand area has changed immensely.”

The Native Americans believe the monument to be a great remark of history whenever it’s done.

Many people criticize the slow continuation of the project, but Ruth Ziolkowski quotes her husband:

“He said, ‘Go slowly so you do it right.’ And, I, for one, would like to have it go faster, but there are so many things that you have to do in order to do it right that it takes the time.”

This enormous work is processed privately through donations and admission fees. They are now selling tickets for the visitors to see the completed face in order to fund their construction.

The authority of the master plan regarding this incredible monument lies in the hands of an Indian University of North America.

Crazy Horse stated four days prior to his death:

 “I see a time … when all the colors of mankind will gather under the sacred tree of life and the whole earth will become one circle again.”

Sources of the information: | |

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