Results 1-10of 13 Reviews
September 24, 2013
From journal Family Vacation in the Black Hills
ashbourne, United Kingdom
September 18, 2011
From journal Meeting up in South Dakota
August 1, 2011
From journal Journey to the Old Way of Life in South Dakota
October 1, 2009
From journal Rapid City and Surrounds
NY, New York
August 2, 2009
From journal Traveling out West from Denver to Salt Lake Day 3-4
by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
August 26, 2007
From journal My Black Hills
by Noel F.
July 9, 2007
From journal 4th of July in the Black Hills
Rodeo, New Mexico
August 22, 2004
"I do think they got one helluva raw deal." So said Korczak Ziolkowski about the Lakota Indians, after he was approached by Henry Standing Bear just before the onset of World War II. He asked Korczak to create a carving of Crazy Horse in the Black Hills, so that "the white man would know that the red man has great heroes, too." Ziolkowski, a sculptor of Polish descent who was making a name for himself back East, went on to serve in the Army in 1943, getting wounded at Omaha Beach. In 1946 he chose Thunderhead Mountain as the site for the Crazy Horse sculpture, and in 1947, began his biggest project. In 1950, Korczak married Ruth Ross, 18 years his junior, and they began their family of 10 children, 7 of whom would remain on the mountain in their adult years to continue the project after their father’s death in 1982.
Fast forward to 2004. Crazy Horse’s head was completed in 1998 and now blasting continues to slowly flesh out his body and horse. The scale dwarfs the Rushmore Four, whose heads are 60 feet high. Crazy Horse’s head is 90 feet high, and the complete man and horse will be 563 feet high and 641 feet long. Crazy Horse’s outstretched arm will be the length of a football field. Ruth Ziolkowski continues to live and manage the project in her studio-home, part of which is open for viewing.
Give yourself plenty of time to explore this huge complex. Begin at the Orientation Center, and watch the film describing this project. Check the bus kiosk early for a tour to the mountain’s base; afternoon thundershowers sometimes cancel the rides. The Indian Museum of North America contains four wings full of wonderful cultural works and art. For views of the mountain, go to the Wall of Windows indoors or the Viewing Veranda outside. Hungry? Enjoy an Indian taco or bison stew at the Laughing Water Restaurant. Don’t wait too long before finding out when the Lakota dancers are scheduled to perform. Wander through the sculptor’s opulent home and showrooms. At the Native American Cultural Center, artists and craftsmen create and sell their works. Downstairs, there’s a good collection of Edward Curtis photographs, and lectures. Outdoors, a dramatic sculpture of fighting stallions, and 46 foot long Nature Gates, containing 270 distinct silhouettes of animals. Whew! You’re not done yet. Return to the gift shop to select a souvenir of your day at Crazy Horse Memorial.
From journal Black Hills Blues