Henry Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Chief who invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve a memorial honoring all North American Indians.
Korczak Ziolkowski [core-chalk jewel-cuff-ski] is the sculptor of Crazy Horse.
1939 – Korczak Ziolkowski, a noted New England sculptor, first came to the Black Hills to help Gutzon Borglum on Mount Rushmore. That year Korczak also won first prize for his Carrara marble portrait, “PADEREWSKI, Study of an Immortal,” at the New York World’s Fair. Chief Standing Bear read news reports of Korczak’s achievements and invited him to create a mountainous tribute to the North American Indians.
May 3, 1947 – Korczak Ziolkowski returned to the sacred Black Hills to create a monument of Crazy Horse. He came at the invitation of Chief Henry Standing Bear
June 3, 1948 – First blast on the Mountain. Five survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn attended.
In our environment, production blast, refers to drilling and blasting techniques that remove many tons of rock from the Mountain at a time. Production Blasts move the 20 foot high face on the bench back toward finished grade at 6 to 8 feet per blast. At about twenty feet from finished grade, we start to transit from production blasts to smaller less powerful blasts, and finally to rock removal by hand – to preserve the integrity of the finished surface we are working toward.
The mission of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians. The Foundation demonstrates its commitment to this endeavor by continuing the progress on the world’s largest sculptural undertaking by carving a Memorial of Lakota leader Crazy Horse; by providing educational and cultural programming; by acting as a repository for American Indian artifacts, arts and crafts through the INDIAN MUSEUM OF NORTH AMERICA® and the NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL & CULTURAL CENTER ®; and by establishing and operating the INDIAN UNIVERSITY OF NORTH AMERICA® and when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.
Crazy Horse Memorial is being carved in the Black Hills, which are among the earth’s oldest geological formations by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation and the family of Korczak & Ruth Ziolkowski the rock from the Mountain contains many minerals. All of the individual mineral, rock & gemstones found on the Mountain form what is called pegmatite granite.
The Crazy Horse Memorial complex is open year-round and work continues on the Mountain throughout the year! We are proud to host over ONE MILLION visitors per year!
The Memorial does not accept federal or state funding. The project is financed by admissions and contributions.