Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crazy Horse, Black Hills

While you are in the Black Hills, South Dakota, Crazy Horse is one memorial which offers a lot of cultural insight to the lives of the native Americans. Do visit the museum.

As you enter the Visitor’s Center there’s a nice 15-20 minute video which gives a history of how and why the Crazy Horse Memorial is being created… apparently to honor one of the greatest Native American –Crazy Horse. The monument is that of a Native American Lakota warrior [Thašúŋke Witkó] riding a horse and pointing to a distant land which he called his –“My lands are where my dead lie buried”.

Creating a monument of this magnitude and that too without any national or international funding is one of the prime reasons why it is taking such a long time to complete. [From Wikipedia] The mountain carving began in 1948 by a Polish American sculptor Korczak Ziółkowski, who had worked on Mount Rushmore under 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.” The Visitor’s Center had a lot of artifacts from the Native American culture… must visit. There was a laser show at night which was nothing phenomenal… plain usual stuff.

While at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, under a flag of truce he was stabbed in the back by an American soldier which lead to his death on 6th September, 1877.So what’s special about Crazy Horse?
A treaty signed in the year 1868 by the President of the United States said in effect: As long as rives 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. But the treaty was broken very soon by the white men because there seemed to be gold deposits in the Black Hills
Not only that...
-the government agents failed 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
-their leader Conquering Bear was exterminated by treachery
-the peoples’ lives and their way of life was ravaged and destroyed.

Crazy Horse was a leader of men and defended his people and their way of life in the only manner he knew. And that is why the Indians chose Crazy Horse for the Mountain Carving.More Info: http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/home/thingstodo/parksmonuments/crazyhorse

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