Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse

It took fourteen years and 400 men to carve Mount Rushmore. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum wanted his design to become a national cause: “In commemoration of the foundation, preservation, and continental expansion of the United States.”  President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the memorial in 1927, but the work wasn’t completed until 1941. “The noble countenances emerge from Rushmore as though the spirit of the mountain heard a human plan and itself became a human countenance.”

Crazy Horse is the largest sculptural undertaking ever – on a scale with the Egyptian pyramids.   When completed, it will tower 563 feet high and 641 feet long.  Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear commissioned sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an Indian memorial in the Black Hills. in 1939.  The form of legendary warrior Crazy Horse is emerging, but it will take many more years before this sculpture is finished – certainly not in our lifetime. Crazy Horse’s left hand points out over a vast expanse, in answer to the answer asked by the white man “Where are your lands now?” Crazy Horse’s response: “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”

Not too far from Crazy Horse is the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, an active paleontological dig site, which boasts the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world.

On to Devil’s Tower.

Back to South Dakota main page.