An obscene monument
March 25, 2012 by Bill
On Sunday, March 18, 2012, the New York Times wrote a major story about the arrogance and greed of a white man who wanted to carve out an obscene monument in the sacred mountains of the Lakota Sioux, the Black Hills of South Dakota, “Paha Sapa,” “the heart of everything that is,” was and still is, their sacred center and most holy place.
The most obscene monument was to be of Crazy Horse, the ultimate warrior-holy man of the plains Indians, the Lakota and Cheyenne. The most accurate translation of his name would be “the enchanted one” or “the mysterious one.” He was adored, idolized, and was often referred to only as “the man.” He was the classic holy man and warrior in one person. He was a loner, spending much of his time in meditation with Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery. He and his Cheyenne wife often camped away from the village. I think I have every book written about this man and have given many lectures about him.
The old ones of the Lakota and Cheyenne nations described him in detail in the late 1800s and early 1900s and what he was like. They said when he went into a village there would be a ground swell of “the man is coming.” He always wore only one or two Red Tailed Hawk feathers in his hair. He never participated in a Sun Dance. He was light skinned and small boned, of medium height. He never allowed his picture to be taken.
The Crazy Horse image is still very sacred to the Lakota, and the most obscene insult to Crazy Horse, sculpted in stone on stolen Indian land, is the so-called monument being carved into the Black Hills, that has made the sculptors millions of dollars in “tourist” money being spent there. Arrogance, greed and ignorance combined in the most obscene and monumental insult to the American Indian and the Lakota and to Crazy Horse. The founder of Native Sun News, in nearby Rapid City said “I have never heard one single American Indian, not one, say “I am proud of the mountain.” They look upon it as degrading and the ultimate offense.
The Holy Man, Fools Crow said “It would be like us going into your St. John the Divine, or the National Cathedral, and carving up your walls and breaking your stained glass windows.” Or as the Holy Man Lame Deer put it: “Good art is not made with a jackhammer. Anything in disharmony with nature is evil. It fits into our sacred mountain like a red hot iron poker in someone’s eyes.” It is the monumental blind ego of an insane so-called sculptor. It is from the same psychotic emotions that raped the Black Hills for gold.
THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE IS NOT IN DYNAMITE AND A JACK HAMMER.
What is little known today among many, are apologies of some of the Protestant churches for their crimes against the American Indian. A request for forgiveness for the bigotry and obscenities inflicted upon the Indians by Christian missionaries.
My own UCC (Congregational Churches) recently issued this apology: “We bear a heavy burden of responsibility for the ongoing injustice and imperialism that have been so disruptive of the values of Indian life and culture. The cumulative effect of the Christian missionary legacy and influence has been the disparagement and undermining of Indian culture and a spiritual impoverishment. Our missionaries were blinded. The Congregational churches take responsibility for their part in these ongoing atrocities, and we express to you, our Indian brothers and sisters, a deeply felt sorrow and penitent spirit.”
Many more apologies came in from the United Church of Canada, as well as others in the United States.
But, thank the great Wakan Tanka, the obscene Crazy Horse monument of the Black Hills will never be finished.
Jean Baptiste De Bienville, upon meeting the Nez Perce for the first time, wrote these words in his diary:
“Their honesty is immaculate and their purity of purpose most remarkable.
They are more like a nation of saints.”