The employee group arrived about 9am. We got a tour of the museum, gift shop, sculpture studio, and the sculpture’s first home in the area. We had to watch a movie about why & how he got started working on the Crazy Horse carving.
Ziolkowski was a Polish guy born in Boston. He even worked a short time on Mt Rushmore I’m not sure why he stopped working on it though. I know there were financial issues going on with the Mt Rushmore carving for quite awhile. Anyways, Ziolkowski stepped away from that project but after Mt Rushmore was declared done in October,1941..Chief Standing Bear talked with the Ziolkowski and work started on Crazy Horse in 1948.
I really liked the educational movie about how Ziolkowski and all 10 of his young children worked on the mountain. In the movie they even showed the kids packing dynamite, which would be illegal now-a-days. He had a 1-room schoolhouse build on the property and that teacher now works in the giftshop. 6 of the 10 children still work at Crazy Horse today (1 girl died years ago).
The government does not pay for any of this memorial, and the government has absolutely no control over the land or carving of the memorial. Ziolkowski has refused millions of dollars from the government a few times. Someday in the future, there will be a university & hospital for the Native people in this area on the Crazy Horse property.
I am half white (French & Irish) and I am half Native (Cheyenne, Chippewa, Iroquois). No I don’t have any tribal paperwork to prove I am native, but then I also don’t have any paperwork to prove I am French & Irish. My brother used to just say we were a mutt. According to my mother, mutts are the best kind of people. Multi-taskers can handle doing more then 1 thing at a time. Well mutts can handle more then 1 culture at a time, more then 1 way of doing something, more then 1 tradition at holidays. The “under-dog” always needed a friend and in the case of some history stories, the native americans were a definite under-dog according to mother.
Ok, I won’t get on a political soap box here. Let’s just say I have more respect for Ziolkowski then I do for President Jefferson or the Borglum guy who was in charge of the Mt. Rushmore carving. Anyways I did a little shopping..bought myself a shirt that says “Never Forget Your Dreams” across a dream catcher (it was Ziolkowski’s wife’s favorite saying), bought 2 different shirts for my youngest grandkids and some postcards, all for $42. We all had a YUMMY buffet for lunch…wish their cook was at Mt Rushmore.