Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vacation 2013~Day One/Crazy Horse Memorial

South Dakota
  • Did you know Sitting Bull was born and died in South Dakota, however he was buried in North Dakota in an abandoned and unkept graveyard until April 8, 1953 where Grey Eagle and others exhumed Sitting Bull’s remains and reburied him along the Missouri River in South Dakota.  The grave is now marked with a bust which was carved by the Korczak Ziolkowski, the sculptor of Crazy Horse Mountain.
  • Did you know Crazy Horse now in progress is the largest mountain carving in the world?  His head will be nine stories tall.  Once completed the carving will be 563 feet tall and 641 feet long.
The mission of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation: is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians.  Once everything has been completed, projected year 2049, this will be the world’s largest mountain carving in progress with museums, cultural education center, sculptor’s studio and antiques.  Next to the sculpture will be an Indian Museum of North America, Indian University of North America and Medical Training Center.  There will be an Avenue of the Chiefs as well as the present Visitor Complex.

The sculptor, Korczak’s was chosen by a committee of chiefs.  The chiefs wanted white men to know the Indians have great heroes too.  The sculptor felt Crazy Horse should be built by the interested public and not the taxpayer.  Twice he turned down offers of federal funding.  He also knew that the project was larger than any one person’s lifetime and left detailed plans as well as scaled models for future sculptors to follow.  After he died in 1982, his wife and seven of his children continued to work on the sculpture.  The funding is financed by visitors admission and contributions. 

At night they have “Legends in Light” a laser light storytelling, the cultural diversity and to celebrate the similarities and encourage better understanding of all races.


Crazy Horse Memorial Facts:
First Blast June 3, 1948.
Once completed:
Feather: 44 ft.
Head: 87 ½ ft.
Arm: 263 ft.
Hand: 33 ft.
Mane: 62 ft.
Horse’s Head: 219 ft.

Why the Indians chose Crazy Horse for the Mountain Carving.

“Crazy Horse was born on Rapid Creek in the Black Hills of South Dakota in about 1842.  While at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, under a flag of truce, he was stabbed in the back by an American soldier and died September 6, 1877~ age 35.  Crazy Horse defended his people and their way of life in the only manner he knew.  BUT Only after he saw the Treaty of 1868 broken, This treaty, signed by the President of the United States, said in effect: As long as rivers run and grass grows and trees bear leaves, Paha Sapa- the Black Hills of Dakota- will forever be the sacred land of the Sioux Indians. Only after he saw his leader, Conquering Bear, exterminated by treachery. Only after he saw the failure of the government agents to bring required treaty guarantees, such as meat, clothing, tents and necessities for existence which they were to receive for having given up their lands and gone to live on the reservations.  Only after he saw his people’s lives and their way of life ravaged and destroyed.  Crazy Horse has never been known to have signed a treaty or touched the pen.  Crazy Horse, as far as the scale model is concerned, is to be carved not so much as a lineal likeness but more as a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse-for his people.  With his left hand thrown out pointing in answer to the derisive question asked by white man, “Where are your lands now?” he replied, “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”  Korczak Ziiolkowksi Sculptor written in May 1949.

The kids thought it was crazy we had to pay only $2 less than what we paid at Mount Rushmore when the monument is not completed.  I explained the monument is not getting federal funding like Mount Rushmore did, it is the cost of visitors and donations paying for it.  They felt that this was not a good enough reason to charge.  I then pointed out it will be complete by the time their children are grown and they can think...hey remember when we went to visit and they were working on it?  Well we helped in some way.  They just looked at me like I was crazy.

I love this picture.  I tried to get as close as I could so we can see the bulldozer up on the mountain.

Do you see the drawing of the horse outline?  It would be so great to see this once it is completed. After viewing the mountain we went into the Visitors Complex. 

 The foreground sculpture is what the mountain will look like once it is done.
I was also very happy with the way my picture turned out.

 I wish I could have zoomed in and take a picture without a glare. 
I loved the bead work on the dress.
 This little case was filled with Indian dolls.
 Noah was fascinated with the watermelon doll.
 I absolutely love this painting!
Seriously love.  If it were reasonably priced and for sale I would have bought it.
 I had to take a picture of this chief headdress.  
The feathers are Iowa Hawkeye colors.

 This ceremonial horse dressing was beautiful.
My picture does not even do it justice.
 Outside there was a Lakota Indian who was talking to everyone and taught a dozen chosen people how to do the rattle snake Indian dance.

 Here is a larger sculpture of what the mountain carving will look like.
 A wooden sculpture of Crazy Horse's face.
  Do you see the person standing next to it by the window?
It is a large sculpture, not even close to as large as the mountain sculpture.
 An Indian sculpture outside the Visitor Complex.

After we left the Crazy Horse Memorial we headed to Custer, South Dakota where our hotel room was.  I believe it was near 6:00 pm by the time we checked in.  I was exhausted.  Once we had the boys settled in their room and Emily, Todd and I were settled in our room, we headed out to get dinner.  We had to wait nearly an hour before we were able to get our food.  While we waited, we took a walk down main street.  I wish I brought my camera, on the hill they had a sign like Hollywood does with the town's name Custer.  It was 9:00 pm when the boys went back to their room and I chose to crash soon after.  South Dakota is an hour behind Iowa and we left my Mom's at 2:00 am and we were running on very little sleep.  I can honestly tell you, I slept like a baby.  I was out in minutes.  I enjoyed our first day tremendously.  The monuments were breath taking.  Todd and I both have been to Mount Rushmore when we were children, now it was an opportunity we had to take our children.  Crazy horse was everything and more than I had hoped for.  Wall Drug was a fun little side track and the scenery was breath taking up to that point.  Wait until I show you Wyoming.  Wyoming is a little of everything.


1 comment:

  1. You documented your trip so well, Jolene. The Crazy Horse mountain sculpture is fascinating. I learned a lot here!


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