South Dakota is famously known for Mount Rushmore, but it is making way for another carved memorial out of a mountain. Crazy Horse Memorial is the world’s largest sculpture in the making. When completed, the mountain will stand 563 feet tall by 641 feet long.
The Crazy Horse Memorial has been under construction for 64 years. The project was initiated in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. He was called upon by Chief Henry Standing Bear who wanted to carve a mountain that represented the honor and the freedom of the Native Americans. The sculpture, when finished, will portray the Lakota Warrior Chief Crazy Horse on a horse with his arms stretched on the horse’s mane. Crazy horse was the war leader of a Native American Tribe and was known for his bravery and exceptional skills.
The project was slow in progress as Ziolkowski refused to take funds from the government. Instead, he charged admission fees from visitors to see history in making. The sculptor aimed to create museums, a medical school, recreation area and an Avenue of Chiefs that would portray sculptures of the Great American and native leaders. After his death in 1982, his wife and family have continued to construct the monument with his vision in mind.
No large project can be completed without drawbacks. The Crazy Horse Memorial also faced many controversies in its ongoing years. many nature supporters have said that the natural beauty of a mountain is being ruined by a man-made item. Many are also appalled at the idea of creating a statue of a man who never had his picture taken.
The visitor’s complex that surrounds the mountain has an Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Cultural Center. The Sculptors studio and workshop also feature some of the works by the notable sculptor. Night performances, as well as laser-light shows, dances by Native American dancers are special events held around the monument. In the summer times, the crazy horse stampede rodeo is held on the grounds as well as the crazy horse Volksmarch that opens a 10,000 route to hikers that goes around the base of the mountain to the crazy horse’s extended arms.
The days when the blasts are scheduled, a large group of visitors gathers to the construction site to watch the clock countdown and following the explosions.
The area also comprises a welcome center, restaurants, and gift shops. Day tours, as well as multi-day tours of both Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial, are also offered.
The Crazy Horse Memorial is open daily, all year round. The fees for adults is approximately $6.00, carload is $28.00. Motorcyclists have to pay $5 per rider.
The monument – if it’s ever completed – will draw a lot of attention from tourists as well as critics. For now, it is a great place to watch and learn about the Native Americans as well as see the history being created.