A monument honoring native American legend Crazy Horse is slowly taking shape high above the Black Hills of South Dakota.

 For nearly 70 years, crews have been blasting millions of tons of rock off the mountain.

Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began construction in 1948. His work on Mount Rushmore drew the attention of Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear who invited him to design a memorial to American Indians.

“He said my fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man had great heroes to,” Ziolkowski told CBS News’ ’60 Minutes.’

His daughter Monique now oversees the work.

Crazy Horse’s face was completed in the late 90s. Crews are now working to shape the horse’s head and Crazy Horse’s outstretched hand.

In some spots, the crews only have a few feet of rock left to remove, but finishing just the hand will take years.

Caleb Ziolkowski is the third generation of his family to work on the project.

“It is hard from a mile away to see the changes,” he said. “Since the time that I started this hand area has changed immensely.” Native Americans say whenever it’s done it will provide a valuable education and ensure Crazy Horse’s place in history.

The work is privately funded through admission fees and donations.

In addition to a museum, the master plan for the site includes an Indian University of North America.


Responses to "Monument Of Native American Hero ‘Crazy Horse’ Slowly Takes Shape In South Dakota"

  1. casey says:

    "great heroes too."

  2. Is there a You Tube link? The video can be seen only in USA

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome and history

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bite me

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.
  6. slow=key word. Seems to me the pipeline could have paid for this

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not native chief standing bear wanted

  8. Unknown says:

    This is a True gift to the World..

  9. This is wonderful! My only wish is that the American Indians could be part of the design and building of Crazyhorse.

  10. Unknown says:

    We were here on Tuesday, our second visit. Just a fantastic place to learn about Native American history. The passion runs deep at this memorial - from the museum to the artists studio to the monument itself. Amazing.

  11. Cindy says:

    Where is this in S. Dakota? Planning to visit this part of the country soon and would love to see it.

  12. I want to follow this!

  13. Kultsi says:

    The video works just great in Finland.

  14. Ruki444 says:

    I first saw this around 1963 and hoped it would done by now. I think crowd-sourcing should begin to help raise funds. What about some of the celebs like Kostner?

  15. Dear uploader of the video, contrary to various internet myths, Australia does exist. May we see the video too?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Crazy Horse allowed no photographs or drawings. This was deliberate. KNOWING that the Lakota people had heroes is not the same as destroying a mountain. I wonder if Standing Bear really "invited" him to do this.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Something Aboriginal people can be proud of! Atago!

  18. Are there not any other artists to join in the carving? It's taking forever, and I may be long dead before it's completed. :(

  19. DaveM says:

    The pose, and the message it is intended to carry, stem from taunting Crazy Horse received while he was a captive of the United States. Someone mockingly asked him: "Where are your lands now?" He is said to have stretched out his hand and replied: "my lands are where my people lie buried". The face is intended to be symbolic since no one knows what Crazy Horse looked like (I do recall once reading that Korczak was more looking forward to carving the horse). But the pose and the gesture are the main thing.

  20. DaveM says:

    To my knowledge, the small crew doing the work, and the slow process of the carving, are the result of Ziolkowski's refusal to accept any public money, particularly from the United States Government. He died before crowdfunding existed--how he would have felt about it we cannot know

  21. Anonymous says:

    My father served in the same unit as Korczak in WWII and they kept in touch after, my dad sent Korczaks family cookies every Christmas I remember,and we visited in the 60's. Living in Chicago area we learned about Native American history from this and not from textbooks. Ive never been back so its nice to see the video, thank you White Wolf for posting.

  22. Unknown says:

    I agree with Beau Bordeaux... I have been there 3 times in the last 15 years and have not saw much progress in stone. I agree it should have had a lot more progress by now. The exhibits are great because they show the real Natives because a lot of the exhibits were donated by Native tribes. As a Native I do have free access but the feeling I get there is not a good one... I can see and feel its just another white owned tourist trap. I probably will visit again when I am in the area only to see the Native exhibits as its one of the few places you can see the history in quantity. I made a similar comment a few years ago and this story reinforces my feelings.

  23. Sonjche says:

    Red Horse, long live your spirit and the spirit of all the 8 million genocided Indians slaughtered by the hand of white man.
    Be blessed!

  24. Disgraceful!
    I wish men would stop defacing Nature in order to aggrandise males! It’s disgustingly atrocious!
    No excuse
    I value native people’s and seriously doubt any in their right mind would support any such disfigurement!

  25. This clearly not Crazy Horse. It's George Washington, an Edomite. Crazy Horse was a man of complexion.

  26. biggeast, pleass sosurry, LOVE Back, GODbless

  27. Unknown says:

    Quite a project to undertake! Much cynicism in the comments... but I think this is more of a tribute to the Native American culture than casinos on native reservations! I'd like to know which of the nay saying commentators put 3 generations of their family working on something better to honor the Native Americans?

  28. GreyWolf says:

    I am 54. I got to see it in the mid 70s. I can only wish I could see it finished. It is a magnificent statue dedicated to a strong leader.

  29. Mark Ira says:

    This is awesome. I wish my mother was alive to see this.

  30. Unknown says:

    We saw this in Sept. 2018. Amazing. Taking a while to tackle this. Really is a great tribute.

  31. Unknown says:

    I still can't get over THE TRAIL OF TEARS.HOW UnGODLY.

  32. Unknown says:

    Beau Bordeaux is probably the closest to the truth about this "monument" I remember back in '64 reading how Korczak got fired off the Rushmore crew. Also when they did research on building Rushmore that "rock" where they are supposedly building Crazy Horse was avoided because it has too many soft spots so this fact alone will tell you it'll never be finished and I remembered the locals figured it was just a money scheme this guy cooked up. Him and his family has lived off the naive people that want to believe in something. So sad.

  33. I was here 30-something years ago and absolutely no noticeable work has been done since. This "monument" looks EXACTLY the same as it did when I saw it in person. I suspect that it will NEVER be completed.

  34. 은거미 says:

    I love Crazy Horse’s Project

  35. novamaz says:

    As to video about this memorial there's a few on YouTube:

    Red Wing Shoes Presents: Crazy Horse Monument- Five against the Mountain
    In 1939, a monument similar to Mount Rushmore was requested to immortalize on sacred ground the Oglala Lakota war hero Crazy Horse, and to celebrate the Indian Nation. In 1948, a small group of craftsmen took over the monumental task of sculpting the mountain into a man. This video documents the devotion they have to the pursuit of perfection. It’s the story of five men against the mountain who know the sculpture won’t be completed in their lifetime. But like all well-crafted monuments, it will not only live on as a tribute to Crazy Horse, but also as a tribute to the craftsmanship and perseverance of those who built it.

    CBS: Crazy Horse Monument

    CNN: Crazy Horse Memorial bigger than Mount Rushmore
    Work began on the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota in 1948. Those working on it now say they'll be gone before it's finished.

    watchJoJo: This Crazy Horse Monument Is So Enormous That The Work Needed To Complete It Beggars Belief
    This one is perhaps the best of the bunch for showing how extensive the work is & will continue to be.

  36. novamaz says:

    There's lots more videos on YouTube. Just search for "Crazy Horse Memorial" and you'll get lots.

  37. Anonymous says:

    We live just minutes away from this "monument ". It is nothing more than a cash cow for the family. Once the father died the family did not have the passion for the sculpture. They spend much time over seas on "fund raising" trips. The fees collected at the entrance are in the millions each year. They have the money to complete it, but they would rather spend it on their life style.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Bet if he was white it'd be done in 14 years too

  39. Unknown says:

    That's Amazing!✌️✊

  40. Anonymous says:

    Lived in the area for over 15 years. Nothing at all changed on this carving during that time except the price of admission. It's become a scam for the family to make money. At one point the federal government offered to finish the carving. Then the family could have used the admission fees to help open the much vaunted Native University.....but no. Better for the family to pocket a majority of the money and perform a few ceremonial blasts per year.

  41. Unknown says:

    I have been going there since the 80's and it hasn't changed much at all.

  42. Unknown says:

    A living legend, a wonderful view, interesting people !!! Only fatigue is noticeable ... I am ready to help, I have no money, but I have the ability ...

  43. Leilani says:

    I would have thought the monument would have been completed by now. I saw it in the 1970s when the only thing you could really see was the top of the extended are and where they were blasting for the head. that has been over 40 years ago. I would love to see it completed before I die.

  44. Unknown says:

    Anonymous: listen! Watch that bite me tossing usage, do you understand me?

  45. Russell says:

    Sad to say that it looks no different than 30 years ago when it was on a tv show :'( :'(

  46. Gus says:

    This a big slap in the face to the native people. That mountain is holy land to the Sioux and the white men who took it from the Sioux decided to carve it up with the image of native as a gift but it’s everything but.

  47. My husband & I have been to Crazy Horse Mountain 4-5 times over the past 33 yrs, nothing has appeared to have been done. The only thing that has been done is charging for parking, getting an asphalted parking lot, lots of displays inside, and lots of displays inside for sale. I mentioned this on my last visit there, told the people exactly what I saw & how I felt, they didn't like it. I don't care, it is what it is. If wrong doing is going on, it will catch up to the people doing so. Otherwise, nice country, nice trip, lots to see and do in the area; we enjoyed all else.

  48. Unknown says:

    It must should have been the tribes decision. No going back now 🌵

  49. Fred says:

    What I appreciate most is that no government money has ever been given for this, and the entire project includes a hospital and schools. My only wish is that it could finished sooner.

  50. Unknown says:

    Awesome, I'm very glad to see this - a very nice respect to pay to a people who really lost out in the past. Its nothing close to enough, but sorry for Ur sacrifice. I hope that the future brings better change.

  51. 1timt says:

    Great history about a brave Warrior. Wonderful family doing the work.

  52. Anonymous says:

    ..."they had great heros TOO" TOO! TOO!!!

  53. Anonymous says:


  54. Unknown says:

    They are not working on it. It will NEVER be done. It is a monumental tourist rip off that is family owned.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Would love to see this great
    piece of American art.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I visited this Mountain in 1974, when it was just a hole in the monument beneath Crazy Horse's arm. It is awesome to see the progress they have made. Hope to see it when it is complete.

  57. Unknown says:

    I think God approves

  58. Anonymous says:

    This will take a while. Your looking at a century long project. Paying, finding or training artists who can carve a mountain into a statue isn't easy. I hope they actually finish it. Mt Rushmore was never fully finished they just figured it was good enough!

  59. Video is not available in my country which is Canada WTH!

  60. Violynn says:

    Just curious as to what the basis was for the appearance of this carving as there are no verifiable photos of Crazy Horse...

  61. I guess there are some Native American Indians who don't approve of the carving as cutting into rock is against their belief. Maybe you can address this so that the carving of Crazy Horse is an honored one. I tend to like the carving, but am respecting the Native American Indians who were here first and have a difference of belief. Rock, water, air, etc are their life spirits and they honor those in highest regard.
    Kind regards,
    L Gonzalez

  62. Anonymous says:

    Guess no one has heard, 35 or so years ago, an anonymous donor and the US department of the interior, offered twenty million, no strings attached, to finish the monument and school. If they took it, the monument would have been done by the early 1990's, and the school would have been done at the same time.

  63. Anonymous says:

    We visited 30 some years ago. I just don't see enough progress to call this an on going project. My Lakota grandmother would be saddened to see so little done.

  64. Robin says:

    Here's the link to the video

  65. Unknown says:

    My husband I were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the tribute to Crazy Horse. This is an amazing place and one that everyone whoever visits South Dakota should stop and see. We were so impressed with the museum and the culture it shared. I hope that someday this monument will be finished and that the Native American's will be very proud of what it stands for.

  66. Unknown says:

    I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB for a total of years. Every Memorial and Labor Days residents of the Black Hills were admitted free. On one of my visits I suggested setting a camera on a specific place and take a picture. one frame per day for a film/video of the progress. Also, Korczak was offered and rejected federal funding.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Has not changed in ten years!

  68. MP says:

    why is did the uploader of the video make it unavailable from my country?

  69. Unknown says:

    Very cool.

  70. Unknown says:

    The sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was Polish:

  71. Unknown says:

    Miharo RAWE TEENEI TAONGA all the way from NZ

  72. Yes. It is about time now more than ever!!!

  73. Anonymous says:

    SLOW is an understatement. STAGNANT is a better description. I saw this ten years ago, and from the pictures I've seen nothing has changed. It feels like a scam; yes, they are funding it via donations to visitors. But it feels a lot like money is going in, but nothing is going out. Yes it is a massive project. But in 70 years we've got most of a head and part of a hand. Worth seeing? Yes. Worth completing? Absolutely, and a crime that it doesn't move faster. Someone needs to take charge of this project and produce a reasonable, achievable timeline. All there is now is "it will be done when it's done".

  74. Interesting way to commemorate a person who viewed the land as sacred.

  75. Ironically on government land

  76. Unknown says:

    Please tell me how to contact the leaders of this ambitious project. My friend is a sculptor and I want to participate. Thank you in advance

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