The Crazy Horse Monument
Fifteen miles to the southwest of Mount Rushmore rises another mountain sculpture, the monument to the Sioux warrior leader known as Crazy Horse. Conceived of in response to the Mount Rushmore monument itself, the Crazy Horse Memorial was the idea of Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear, meant to inspire Native American pride in the same way that Mount Rushmore was conceived of as a monument to the new American ideals of democracy. Carving began in 1948, seven years after the sculptor of Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, had died. Chief Standing Bear called on the sculpting expertise of Korczak Ziolkowski, a sculptor from Boston.
The subject of the Crazy Horse monument is that of the famous warchief Crazy Horse, sitting astride his horse and pointing. It memorializes the story that when Crazy Horse was taunted by U.S. troops once, baiting him with the question "Where are your lands now?", the Indian leader pointed and said "My lands are where my dead lie buried." Ziolkowski and Standing Bear both created a model for the sculpture which, when complete, would be larger than the sculpture at Mount Rushmore. Mindful of Borglum's entanglements with bureaucrats, Ziolkowski twice rejected offers of $10 million in public aid for the project. (www.smithsonianmag.org) Because of refusal to accept government funding and a reliance on private donations alone, the pace of work on Crazy Horse has continued steadily, but more slowly than that of Mount Rushmore. The memorial is still under construction today, with the face of Crazy Horse unveiled in 1998, even though Ziolkowski died in 1982, with his widow and son Casimir still involved with the project. (www.crazyhorse.org)
The Crazy Horse monument received a $5 million matching grant award in October of 2007