Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crazy Horse

I'm very fortunate to be able to take a cross-country RV trip and see sights I've only heard of.  One of my desired stops was South Dakota since I'm enamoured with the Sioux and a few of my westerns deal with the Paha Sapa (Black Hills.)  As we drove through the beautiful mountains of the area, my mind pictured brave warriors among the trees and I immediately saw why they viewed the hills as sacred and wanted to keep them.

I'm sharing a bit of what I learned there from visiting the Crazy House Museum:

Taken from Observation Deck
Firstly, the park is not a federal or state park and is fully funded by the visitors.  We also saw Mount Rushmore and learned the carving of those sculptures inspired this second colossal piece of art.
I say colossal because the faces on Mt. Rushmore would all fit on one of Crazy Horse's cheek.

Korcak Zlolkowsk (jewel-cuff-ski)  assisted in the carving of Mt Rushmore in 1939 and was contacted by Chief Henry Standing Bear of the Oglala, asking him to consider carving a sculpture dedicated to the American Indian, in fact the reason in the letter stated a desire to let the white man know the Indian also had heroes. Korcak agreed and with only $174 in his pocket began work in 1948. Lots of blasting has taken place and still there is lots to do.

Ruth Ross followed Korcak to South Dakota to be an assistant, and in 1950 they married.  They had ten children to make this a family undertaking.  Sadly, Korzak died in in 1982 and Ruth ran the foundation they started to assure completion of the sculpture.  Ruth passed in 2014 and some of the family members and staff carry on the dream.

To give you an idea how big the finished product will be, the head is 87 1/2 feet high, his feather will be 44 feet, his arm will be 253 feet, horse's head 219 feet and the entire piece will be 641 feet long and 563 feet high.  I took this information directly from a flyer we received.

Here is an example of what the finished product will look like:

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