Crazy Horse Memorial

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The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota, in the form of Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota warrior, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. The memorial consists of the mountain carving, the Indian Museum of North America, and the Native American Cultural Center. The monument is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain on land considered sacred by some Native Americans, between Custer and Hill City, roughly 8 miles (13 km) away from Mount Rushmore. The sculpture's final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet wide and 563 feet high. The head of Crazy Horse will be 87 feet high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at Mount Rushmore are each 60 feet high. The monument has been in progress since 1948 and is still far from completion. Crazy Horse resisted being photographed, and was deliberately buried where his grave would not be found. Ziolkowski, however, envisioned the monument as a metaphoric tribute to the spirit of Crazy Horse and Native Americans. "My lands are where my dead lie buried," supposedly said by Crazy Horse, is the intended interpretation of the monument's expansive gesture. While Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear believes the motives may have been sincere, many traditional Lakota and Native Americans oppose this memorial. In a 2001 interview, the activist and actor Russell Means stated his objections to the memorial: "Imagine going to the holy land in Israel, whether you're a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, and start carving up the mountain of Zion. It's an insult to our entire being." In a 1972 autobiography, Lame Deer, a Lakota medicine man, said: "The whole idea of making a beautiful wild mountain into a statue of him is a pollution of the landscape. It is against the spirit of Crazy Horse." To this day, the memorial remains controversial within the Native American community. The statue has been hit by lightning many times, many Natives believe this is because Crazy Horse never wanted his picture taken so the great spirits will ensure this statue will never be finished. If finished, it will be the world's largest statue. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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