Crazy Horse Monument

Travel news > The awe-inspiring Crazy Horse Monument >

Published on 2012-05-18 (18 May 2012)

  • Think of the stoney faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt peering out from the granite face of Mt Rushmore in South Dakota and then think big, because there's another monument just around the corner, a work in progress that when finished will completely dwarf these 4 distinguished gentleman...

    Mount Rushmore The Crazy Horse monument has been under construction for over 60 years and is a fitting memorial to the spirit of the Lakota Leader Crazy Horse, who famously led the attack against General Custer's 7th Cavalry in the Battle of Little Big Horn. Carved out of Thunderhead Mountain, the finished sculpture - in the round - will stand a massive 641 feet wide and 563 feet high, making it one of the largest sculptures on earth.

    The renowned young Boston sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, was invited by Sioux Chief Henry Standing Bear on behalf of the entire Sioux nation to carve a memorial to Crazy Horse in the Black Hills of South Dakota, simply stating: "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too." After 7 years of studying American Indian history, Ziolkowski concluding that the epic story of the Indian people deserved to be immortalized, beginning work on the mammoth project in 1948.

    Native American Headress The task was so massive however that the monument was far from complete when he passed away in 1982 at the age of 74. His wife and family took up the reins and Ziolkowski's dream is alive and well, the monument now home to the Indian Museum of North America, a Native American Cultural Center and the sculptor's studio-home.

    With the face completed 10 years ago, focus was shifted to the 219 foot high horse's head and without tax payer's money to fund the project, work is completely reliant on the enormous generosity of individuals. A recent multi-million dollar matching grant, the largest donation in the projects history, is allowing work to push ahead with hundreds of tons of rock being removed every week.

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