At a height of 6532 feet, Thunderhead Mountain is the 27th highest peak in South Dakota. More significantly, for the last 67 years it has been undergoing a remarkable transformation, into what will probably be the largest stone sculpture in the world.
The carving is of the inspirational former leader of the Oglala Lakota tribe, Crazy Horse. When complete, the entire sculpture is planned to be 641 feet long and 563 feet high. It will depict the iconic Native American chief riding on the back of a stallion, pointing forwards.
The memorial was commissioned by Oglala Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear and designed by Polish-American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who was one of the sculptors that worked on the nearby Mount Rushmore, also in the Black Hills.
Unfortunately, the memorial is not without controversy. Some Lakota tribe members believe that, far from being an inspiration to Native Americans, the sculpture is a scar on the landscape and against all that Crazy Horse stood for. I guess it’s for each person to decide for themselves how they feel about that.
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