|From Crazy Horse Memorial website.|
Fast forward twenty years: I go back as an adult and yes, I can see where the warrior's head, his outstretched arm, and the horse's head are supposed to be.
When I visited two years ago, there was a face.
The New York Times visits the Ziokowski family's ongoing project, now in its sixty-fifth year, to build the world's largest sculpture. It's a little like one family deciding to build a Gothic cathedral. Progress is slow.
The Indians' own response has been mixed over the years.
“I’ve never heard a single Native American, not one, ever say I’m proud of that mountain,” said Tim Giago, the founder of Native Sun News, based in nearby Rapid City.Thomas Shortbull, president of Oglala Lakota College, which receives a number of scholarships from the foundation, acknowledged the discontent. “But most people see the positive of filling the void of the lack of recognition that we have in this country for Indian people,” he added.
Giago is a longtime journalist, and I expect that he knows whereof he speaks. On the other hand, the Ziokowskis say they got a sort of tribal go-ahead back in the 1930s:
Dad last visited the Black Hills in 1999, a few years before his death. We did not visit Crazy Horse—his agenda of people and places to see was more personal to him. I go by it now when I am in the Hills and realize that as a boy I underestimated the Ziolkowskis' tenacity. Maybe one day the Crazy Horse Memorial will be seen as an important American site.Although the idea originated with Indian leaders — “this is to be entirely an Indian project under my direction,” Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota chief, wrote in a 1939 letter to the sculptor — Mr. Ziolkowski discovered after his arrival that the local tribes had little to give, either in money or labor, Ms. Ziolkowski said.
The motto of "Never Forget Your Dreams" has wide appeal, and meanwhile, Crazy Horse has a webcam.