While in the Black Hills, we visited the Crazy Horse Memorial. Chief Crazy Horse is known for defeating George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or Custer’s Last Stand. The sculptor, Korczak Ziółkowski, started the carving in 1948, but it is far from finished as you can see in the following photo:
We took a short tour that brought us closer:
Chief Henry Standing Bear of the Lakota tribe commissioned the carving. Ziolkowski thought the Tetons in Wyoming would be a suitable location, but the Lakota wanted the project to be in the Black Hills, which they considered sacred.
According to Wikipedia, “Ziolkowski reportedly was offered $10 million for the project from the federal government on two occasions, but he turned the offers down. He felt that the project was more than just a mountain carving, and he feared that his plans for the broader educational and cultural goals of the memorial would be overturned by federal involvement.”
If you’d like to see what the finished sculpture will look like, here’s a photo of the model:
Ziolkowski died in 1982, but seven of his ten children are still working at the site.