Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

We arrived at the Memorial early enough to visit the museum etc...

Isn't this a pretty gate?

The detail in each panel is amazing...

The museum is big, beautiful and interesting...

The beadwork is beautiful, samples of the many colors on display...

One of many handbags...

A beautiful pair of beaded gloves...

We love not only the contents, but the wood used in the...

An Indian bike, beautiful condition and wonderful artwork too...

There are many collections on display including headdresses...

A tee-pee of course...

Mirror belonged to Marie Antoinette, purchased by Korczak when he was 22...

A photo of what the memorial will look like when completed...

Moving out to the back veranda...

A closer shot of the plaster model...

And a bit of info for you...

Back out front and to the right of the Welcome Center, these...

I like this shot, the moon is cool!

You can purchase this beautiful doll in the gift shop for a...

These are also for sale, in fact, there were many beautiful things...

A Hopi Kachina doll, not for sale, on display...

It's 9:15pm and we're positioned back out by the truck, waiting for...

Pretty cool...

There are not only lasers, but pictures projected on the mountain too...

Stars abound also, in fact we saw a shooting star tonight!

One final outline ends the show....

And the moon hovered over the Education & Cultural Center, a pretty...


Today we visited the Crazy Horse Memorial once again. We love this place. We come each and every year, and this time we came with Dick, Lou & their 15 year old grandson Austin, visiting for a week from Virginia. We started by watching the 20-minute orientation DVD presentation, Dynamite & Dreams, a must see, and then visited the Indian Museum of North America, the sculptor's studio-home and workshop, and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center. We finished the evening viewing the laser-light storytelling "Legends in Light." Wow, with an 8,800-watt stereo system, twenty five 2,000-watt lights & 3 of the world's largest slide projectors this becomes truly an unbelievable memory! The finale is a tribute to the United States of America, her people from all walks of life, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free. Wonderful!

Now, a bit of history for you. The Crazy Horse Memorial of the legendary Oglala Sioux war chief is a memorial to the famous Native American leader, Crazy Horse, in the form of a huge stone carved statue of a rider on horseback. Crazy Horse is depicted with his left hand pointing in answer to the derisive question asked by a white man, "Where are your lands now?" Crazy Horse replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried. "

Crazy Horse is perhaps most famous for defeating General George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. A brilliant military tactician, Crazy Horse never lost a battle. Ironically, he was killed not in war, but while parlaying with the U.S. Army. In the middle of a truce, a scuffle broke out and a soldier stabbed Crazy Horse in the back. The Sioux leader remains a symbol to his people of a courageous warrior, a man who never compromised his values. He is a hero not only because of his skill in battle, but also because of his character and his loyalty to his people. He is remembered for how he cared for the elderly, the ill, the widowed and the children. His dedication to his personal vision caused him to devote his life to serving his people and to preserving their valued culture.

In 1939, Henry Standing Bear, an Oglala chief, wrote to Korczak Ziolkowski, a sculptor who had assisted in carving the Presidential faces on Mount Rushmore. Standing Bear invited him to build a monument to Crazy Horse. "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes too," he wrote. Indian representatives were adamant that a home for the monument be found in the Black Hills - sacred land of their people.

Accepted Standing Bear's invitation and with his own savings, Ziolkowski obtained a special permit that allowed him to stake a mining claim on a mountain in the Black Hills. On June 3, 1948, with 5 survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn attending the ceremonies, Ziolkowski watched as Standing Bear and South Dakota Gov. George T. Mickelson set off the first charge of dynamite. The sculptor and the Indian chief had launched a dream.

Fifty-five years after Ziolkowski began carving Crazy Horse Memorial, his family continues the dream and work progresses on the world's largest mountain sculpture. When finished, Crazy Horse will stand 641 feet long and 563 feet high. Crazy Horse's completed head is 87 feet 6 inches high. In comparison, the heads of Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet high. Meaning, all 4 of the Mt Rushmore heads together are smaller than Crazy Horse's! The horse's head, currently the focus of work on the mountain, is 219 feet or 22 stories high.

Because of several factors, such as the uncertainty of the weather, the availability of financing and the challenges of the mountain engineering, there is no way to predict a completion date for the mountain carving. When Korczak died on October 20, 1982, his parting words to his wife were, "You must work on the mountain -- but go slowly so you do it right."

And so, Crazy Horse Memorial is a project that will never end, even after the mountain carving is complete. The Ziolkowski family and the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation are dedicated to making careful and steady progress on all of the Memorial's humanitarian goals as well as on the mountain carving. Awesome....we recommend when in the Black Hills that you make this a "must see!"



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