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The Majestic Journey of the Crazy Horse Memorial: An Unfinished Masterpiece

Tucked away amidst the shimmering canvas of the Black Hills in South Dakota, the Crazy Horse Memorial is a majestic, monumental labor of love that tells a story as striking as the granite face it's being carved from. A paramount testament to the rich tapestry of Native American culture and a symbol of Native American heroism, the Crazy Horse Memorial perpetuates an awe-inspiring narrative that will leave travelers dumbfounded by its grandeur, history, and the promise of future completion.

The timeline of this gigantic monument traces back to 1948. The visionary behind it, Korczak Ziolkowski, a Boston-born sculptor, accepted the challenge posed by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to create a tribute that would outshine America's iconic Mount Rushmore. Not only would this monument celebrate the legacy of Crazy Horse, the revered Oglala Lakota leader who played a vital role in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, but it would also honor all Native American tribes.

Progress on the milestone has been slow but steady, given the enormous scale of the project. After more than seven decades of work, what one sees today is an enormous mountain carving portraying Crazy Horse pointing to his ancestral lands, shouting, "My lands are where my dead lie buried." His face, revealed in 1998 and as much as 87 feet high, along with the completed horse's head that is 219 feet high, loom over the landscape. Eventually, once complete, the monument will stretch 641 feet long and 563 feet high, making it the largest sculpture in the world.

One significant aspect of the Crazy Horse Memorial is that it receives no federal or state funding. This project thrives solely from visitor fees and charitable contributions. The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, dedicated to realizing Ziolkowski's vision, maintains steadfast dedication in chiseling the most exquisite details out of this noble edifice, while also focusing on educational and cultural goals.

Visitors can fathom and witness the herculean task of the Crazy Horse Memorial project from the visitor's complex, which itself is a testament to the foundation's commitment to Native American heritage. It houses the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center, offering an educative and immersive journey into the history, life, and culture of North American tribes.

The key question that lingers in the minds of many is, "When is the expected finish date?" Given the enormous nature of the project, the timeline for completion is immense and indefinite. The foundation has been very clear that they will not compromise on quality for speed. The lesson embedded in the making of the Crazy Horse Memorial is more about the journey than the destination. This spiritual pilgrimage aims to commemorate a Native American heritage that stands resilient in the face of time, much like the Crazy Horse Memorial itself, standing tall amidst the contours of the Black Hills.

The Crazy Horse Memorial offers a unique blend of natural grandeur, historical significance, and an enduring dedication to a vision. Paying a visit means contributing to a monumental dream that’s still in the making; the prodigious tribute to the indomitable spirit of Crazy Horse and the vibrant cultural tapestry of the Native American tribes.

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