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Crazy Horse Memorial
 

 


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 will be 641 feet wide and 563 feet (172 m) high. By comparison, the heads of Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet high; the head of Crazy Horse will be 87 feet high.

It was begun in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who had worked on Mt. Rushmore under Gutzon Borglum. In 1939, Mr. Ziolkowski received a letter from Chief Henry Standing Bear, which stated in part "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes, too."  The sculpture portrays the warrior Crazy Horse, who led the Lakota at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

As a non-profit undertaking, the memorial receives no federal or state funding.  Ziolkowski was offered $10 million from the federal government on two occasions, but he turned the offers down. Mr. Ziolkowski felt the project was more than just a mountain carving, and he feared that his plans for the broader educational and cultural goals for the memorial would be left behind with federal involvement.

The Foundation sponsors Native-American cultural events and educational programs. Annually in June, the Memorial hosts a Volksmarch, which is the only time that the public is permitted onto the mountain. Attendance has grown to as many as 15,000.

 

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