There is a photo that has surfaced a couple years ago and is believed by a few people to be a picture of Crazy Horse. Unfortunately, since it surfaced, it has appeared all over the place as the "definitive photo" of Crazy Horse.

However, after close investigation and study by both Native and non-Native experts, the "majority" opinion is that this photo is NOT Crazy Horse, but is instead a photo of an individual named No Neck.

The following are segments of an article which appeared in the November 16, 2003 issue of the Billing's Gazette in Montana.

"...historians and descendants of Crazy Horse think the claim is false. The tintype supposedly bearing the portrait of Crazy Horse is actually an image of No Neck, a chief who surrendered with Crazy Horse in 1877, said Donovin Sprague, a history instructor at Oglala Lakota College and Black Hills State University in South Dakota.

Sprague is also a descendant of Crazy Horse's mother's family and the author of a collection of historical photos, "Images of America, Cheyenne River Sioux."

"The justification they use to prove it's Crazy Horse is the very same information that was disproved 50 years ago. He's on record he did not want his photo taken," Sprague said.

"I know for a fact that a lot of our family and people didn't want their pictures taken. It was like a ghostly thing. They believed some gadget like that could capture your soul. They had a taboo against it."

Crazy Horse's great-grandson, Don Red Thunder, of Dupree, S.D., has the same view. Red Thunder said it was "crazy" to think his great-grandfather would have agreed to sit for a formal portrait for the enemy.

"He didn't trust the white man; he stayed away from any cameraman," Red Thunder said. "There were no photos taken of him."....

"...For one thing, the man in the image is standing on what appears to be tile or a large carpet. In 1877, Camp Robinson was a temporary barracks built of logs and boards. Most of the camp was dirt or plank flooring...."

"...A larger doubt, however, is cast by the fact that the photograph remained hidden for so long, Buecker said. People have been trying to find photos of Crazy Horse since the 1900s. If Hamilton had a photo of Crazy Horse, why didn't he promote it?..."

"...Crazy Horse was shot in the face by his lover's husband. Skeptics say they see neither a scar nor a drooping cheek..."

"...It's always difficult to prove identities in old photographs, said John Doerner, chief historian at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Doerner, however, believes No Neck is the man in the tintype, not Crazy Horse. Doerner's opinion is based on viewing several authenticated images of No Neck...."

Responses to "Crazy Horse Family Talks About Crazy Horse Famous False Photo"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Crazy Horse had light Sandy brown hair....which made him look "different" from the reset of his people. whether the picture is taken before or after he was shot in the face, which left him badly scarred,the hair is still much too dark to even be considered.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about Chief Roman Nose,

  3. Anonymous says:

    I found this photo tucked inside an old book in the Rapid City Public Library. Written on the back in pen: "Bat Garnier Ind scout claims this is the famous war chief Crazy Horse reproduced from the tin type picture taken from Bats trunk. Jake Hermann to Ruth & W.b. {?] from Pte San Wasta Jake Herman

    Gary David

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