Crazy Horse Monument

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday, July 9th

On our way towards Custer we realized that we would be driving past the Crazy Horse Monument so we decided to stop by. It ended up costing us $20 to get in so we were a little annoyed about that, but we headed in to check it out.
The monument is nowhere near completed, but Crazy Horse's face is done at least. We watched an orientation video which told us the history of the monument and that it started in 1948.  It seemed to us like some slow progress, but when they started showing before and current pictures, it was obvious they blew off ALOT of stone. 
The Lakota Chief (Standing Bear) hired Korczak Ziolkowski in 1947 to carve Crazy horse in the Black Hills.  The Black Hills are considered a Holy Place for many native american tribes, so they wanted to have this monument located here.  Korczak made it his life's work, as he married and had 10 kids (All of they helping on the mountain)  It was funny to see pictures of Korczak when he first came out all clean shaven and them him years later with a Big beard and all Mountain-Man like.  Sadly he passed away, but his wife and most of his children are working to continue the sculpture. 
Currently, the face of Crazy Horse is completed, and they have carved a hole through that is under his arm. They are currently working on the horses head.  The model and the renderings of what it is to look like when complete is pretty amazing. We are hoping that we are alive to see it completed some day.

The video also informed us that they don’t use any federal or state money in the building of the monument (even though grants have been offerred to Ziolkowskis, they have turned them down). It is all off of the money they make from the entrance fee, gift shop, and donations. After that we felt a little bit better about the huge entrance fee. Haha. We spent some time exploring everything there is to see and then we headed out to Custer for our campground.
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