|60906. Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:32 pm
|This posted in the outer boards by slade (who's new to me):
|“D is for Dakota. Who has the biggest head in South Dakota?”
Forfeit answers: “Mount Rushmore”, “George Washington”, “Thomas Jefferson”, “Theodore Roosevelt”, “Abraham Lincoln”.
Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota, but there’s an even bigger sculpture in progress just 17 miles south-west of Rushmore. It shows Crazy Horse, the Sioux Indian chief who helped to defeat General Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Crazy Horse’s face – which is already finished – is 87 feet 6 inches high, compared to the Rushmore faces’ height of 60 feet each. When complete, his head will be big enough to contain all four Rushmore faces in its three-dimensional mass.
The most remarkable thing about Crazy Horse Mountain, however, is that it began as the work of just one man. In 1940, Chief Henry Standing Bear of the Lakota Tribe commissioned a lone sculptor called Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an enormous memorial to Crazy Horse. Korczak, who had worked briefly as an assistant sculptor on Mount Rushmore itself, began the job with just $174 to his name and equipped with no more than a jeep, a jackhammer and a crowbar. His first blast, on June 3, 1948, removed just ten tons of rock from the millions which would be necessary.
Korczak turned down two offers of $10m each in federal funding between 1953 and 1962, saying the US Government had no right to get involved in the project after breaking so many treaties with the Sioux.
He died in 1982, bequeathing the project to his wife and many children, who continue the work today. Like him, they rely entirely on funds from public donations and tourist ticket sales. And, like him, they seem quite prepared to devote their entire lives to the project. So far, they’ve completed Crazy Horse’s nine-storey face, levelled off the section where his outstretched left arm will be and blasted a hole clear through the mountain near his armpit.
It’s also Quite Interesting to note that Crazy Horse was never photographed, so we don’t know what he actually looked like. Korczak said the face was not intended as a literal likeness, but as “a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse”.
Sources: Carving A Dream: A Photo History of Crazy Horse Memorial, by Robb DeWall (Korczak’s Heritage Inc, 2003). Mount Rushmore: The Story Behind the Scenery, by Lincoln Borglum (KC Publications Inc, 1993). The People’s Almanac No. 2, by David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace (Bantam Books, 1978). Rough Guide USA, by Samantha Cook et al (Rough Guides, 2004).