Monday, August 23, 2010

Growing Monument: slow, steady progress with Crazy Horse

The giant face of Chief Crazy Horse is slowly taking shape at the Crazy Horse Memorial that is being carved out of Thunder Mountain in the Black Hills near Custer, South Dakota. The massive undertaking, originally the creation and idea of Polish-American artist and sculptor Korczak Ziokowski, was started in 1948, and it might be the largest sculpture in the world measuring when completed at 641 feet wide and 563 feet high. The head of Crazy Horse is 87 feet high. In comparison, the faces of the US president carved in Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet high. Ziokowski with approval from Chief Standing Bear and other Native Americans envisioned not only a monument to Native Americans, but also an educational and cultural center that currently includes the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Cultural Center as well as workshops for Native American. Ziokowski and his relatives have refused government funding for the non-profit project and instead rely on donations and admissions to the memorial for funding to complete the Crazy Horse Memorial.

(Bottom) The Crazy Horse Memorial at Thunder Mountain is lit up in the evening prior to the laser light show in the Black Hills near Custer, South Dakota on Aug. 11, 2010.

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