At 195 metres wide and 172 metres high, the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota is set to be the largest carved sculpture of its kind.
Designed by Polish sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski in 1948, the world’s most ambitious mountain carving is a tribute to Chief Henry Standing Bear (better known as Crazy Horse), the Oglala Lakota warrior who died fighting the United States government for the land and freedom of all North American Indians.
If completed, the mammoth sculpture – which will depict a mounted Crazy Horse with his left arm pointing to his people’s land – will dwarf nearby Mount Rushmore. The Chief’s head alone, which is eight metres taller than the 18 metre-high Rushmore National Memorial, can comfortably fit all four presidential heads inside it.
Though Ziolkowski died in 1982, the sculptor’s children and grandchildren continue to work on the Crazy Horse Memorial. “The promises that were made back in 1947 are being kept,” says Monique Ziolkowski, daughter of Korczak Ziolkowski, “and we’ll keep doing what we do and the mission of Crazy Horse.”
The Crazy Horse Memorial also houses the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Cultural Center, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of Native Americans through interactive exhibitions and special events.
Plan your Visit
The Crazy Horse Memorial is located in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota in the United States, and is best visited by car. Entrance fee starts from $12 for a vehicle with one passenger. A private tour to see the sculpture up close costs $125 per person.