Musings & Meditations

The Journey of Crazy Horse

Posted in Books by Pam Keesey on October 2, 2008

I don’t remember how old I was the first time we went to the Black Hills. Eleven, perhaps; maybe twelve. And construction — if you can call it that — had already started on the memorial to Crazy Horse. At the time, it was little more than an expanse of rock, flattened across the top, with a hole blasted through just below.

I’ve often thought of Crazy Horse since then, even just in passing, as there’s an annual Crazy Horse fundraising even that friends of mine attend every year. I’ve had even more reason to think of him reading The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History.

Written by Joseph M. Marshall III, a Lakota Sioux historian, The Journey of Crazy Horse is striking in it’s style. Very few “facts” are known about the life of Crazy Horse. However, Marshall, who was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation, grew up just two generations removed from people who had known or known of Crazy Horse since childhood. Storytelling was itself the historical record. Marshall has collected these stories, combined them with documented historical fact, and produced a biography that is not only rich in cultural context and historical detail, but also imbued with a culture and tradition of storytelling that makes The Journey of Crazy Horse even more compelling not only as a biography, but also as a cultural artifact.

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