The face is only a part of the sculpture project being made by private organization, without financial involvement of the U.S. government. Designed by Korczak-Ziolkowski (1908 – 1982), a self- educated man of visions, legends and dreams.
Convinced by Chief Henry Standing Bear to carve the mountain, Korczak proceeded to carve the great hero image of T. Witko who was also called the Spirited Horse. Korczak already had some experience with mountain carving. He worked for a while on Mt. Rushmore Memorial in South Dakota’s Black Hills. These both sculptures are only short distance apart, ca. 15 miles.
It was tantalizing project for one man to carve entire mountain. Even though he had dynamite and modern tools, he was laboring more than Pharaohs’ slaves on this project where he eventually died at work, but the progress and perfection of his work achieved the fulfillment of his being. His great help was his wife Ruth Ross and their children.
Korczak-Ziolkowski knew from the onset that his project would not be completed during his lifetime, therefore; he prepared detailed instructions for the continuation of the carving.
The sculpture of the chief warrior whom we know as Crazy Horse ought to be completed according to initial contract among Korczak and Lakota people as private project. It is still not yet fully done, because of insufficient funds. There are some incentives to make this project public because it could be completed faster. Being private it may never be finished. The sculpture of Lakota’s Nation chief warrior, great hero Crazy Horse, should not become public project however. It would diminish the trust among Lakota Nation and project managers. This sculpture stands on private, sacred land of Lakota Nation. Making the project public will violate the initial contract and intention of Korczak. Morale of Lakota Nation will further deteriorate toward the government of the U.S. This monument is the story about the people who lived there and now are almost extinct.
We have to rebuild the trust among government of US and all the indigenous Nations of Americas as a token of reconciliation. The original contract and plan between Korczak and Lakota Nation was to make a sculpture as a private project, without any direct or indirect involvement of U.S. government. There were many grievances and abuses made to all the indigenous Nations of Americas on the part of our government and we slowly have to make restitutions and reconciliations if we want to live in dignity.
Adhering to our law, let this magnificent by sheer size and artistic work structure, the sculpture of great warrior stand forever as a token of reconciliation among people who really all belong to the same Great Spirit or Holy Spirit as others call him – the Giver of Life. For spirit is greater than body even if only lasting as an artistic expression of our hands. Let the Korczak sleep peacefully at the base of his beloved mountain till the Great Spirit calls him again. The man who challenged granite mountain colossus was equally the man of greatness. Korczak-Ziolkowski the “Story Teller in Stone” as he described himself.
© A.R. Wielgus 2012