Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

A brief look at the Crazy Horse Memorial taking shape in South Dakota


August 25, 2020

A view of the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota from late 2019, more than 70 years after it was begun. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

When asked where you might find the largest face in the US, one might think of the Statue of Liberty, whose face is eight feet tall, or better yet, Mount Rushmore, which depicts the visages of four US presidents at around 60 feet or so. However, the real answer lies not far from the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. In fact, just 17 miles away in South Dakota is where you'd find the Crazy Horse Memorial which, even in its unfinished state, is the largest face found in the US and the world, for that matter – it measures in at about 87.5 feet.

Seems like an odd fact but the Crazy Horse Memorial is an interesting monument that is still in progress more than 70 years after it was begun.

The project was initiated in 1939 as a response to the construction of Mount Rushmore, which bore into the Black Hills, an area considered to be sacred to Native American tribes in the area. Polish-American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was contacted by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, who wanted to memorialise his people showing "that the red man had great heroes, too," as The New Yorker quoted Standing Bear.


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