Thursday, January 01, 2009

Crazy Horse: Killed with a Bayonet or Possibly His Own Knife

Crazy Horse was probably never photographed, but some people claim otherwise and say this is him. WHATEVER.
At the request of my culturally-sensitive sister, I will now attempt to do a Native American hero justice. On my blog. So, yeah. CRAZY HORSE! Thashungka Witko was his name, which meant "his horse is crazy" in Lakota. He was named after his father and born in 1840. Or 1845. Or somewhere in between. Depending on who you ask. His tribe was the Oglala Lakota and his actual birthname was something like Cha Oha, meaning "in the wilderness" or "among the trees," though growing up he was called "Curly" because of the hair he inherited from his mother. Wikipedia does not tell me how to say this in Lakota. Damnit. Anyhow, you can consult our illustrious community encyclopedia on the internet if you want to hear about all his family history, but I will not recount all of it here because I don't feel like it. Crazy Horse eventually inherited that name from his father, Crazy Horse. But then his dad changed his name to Waglula, or Worm. Hotttt. His mother Rattling Blanket Woman (no explanation given) came from an illustrious family that had met the Lewis and Clark Expedition and just generally been awesome. In a tragic turn of events, however, Waglula helped save some other village, and its chief guy was like, "Hey, take my two oldest daughters for a thank you." But then daughter #3 was like, "I wanna go too even though I'm 15 and maybe I'll eventually marry this Worm guy," and then she did. Later. So Worm came home with his 2-3 more wives and Crazy Horse, Jr.'s mom was like, "WTF? Is this because I haven't been able to get pregnant again?!" Anyway, it was all super-fucked-up and she hanged herself from a cottonwood tree. Worm was celibate in grief for the next four years before he started getting it on with his three sister-wives, but his former sisters-in-law Good Looking Woman and They Are Afraid of Her decided to intervene in Crazy Horse's childhood (and hunting) training. In 1854, when Crazy Horse was either like 14 or 9, the Grattan Massacre* took place and C.H. watched as the U.S. Army killed the local Lakota leader, Conquering Bear. Crazy Horse then started having trance visions and went on a vision quest with his dad somewhere in South Dakota. The Sexy Gay Jesus knows I'd do my best to hallucinate myself out of South Dakota. Anyway, Crazy Horse had this horse name Inyan (rock or stone) whose ear he kept a special lucky blessed rock behind. Crazy Horse started getting a rep for being a battlefield badass in the 1850s and '60s. The Lakota joined forces with the Cheyenne to fight the U.S. military, and C.H. himself helped lure U.S. soldiers into an Indian ambush in what came to be known by white people as the Fetterman Massacre. During the Wagon Box Fight in 1867 the Lakota were tragically surprised by the Army's new technological advancements in weaponry. Instead of taking 20 seconds to reload like the old muskets, the government now issued rifles that only took six seconds to reload. A lot of Indians got killed. Obvs. Anyway, at some point Crazy Horse decided he wanted a lady. He set his sights on one Black Buffalo Woman whose drunk husband No Water (haha) wasn't around too much. Once No Water heard that they'd run off on a buffalo hunt together, he retaliated violently, but Crazy Horse only got a little bit injured. No Water was kind of obligated to apologize since Lakota women were allowed to divorce, so he gave Crazy Horse a bunch of horses and also a woman named Black Shawl to heal him, who he also married. Crazy Horse fought in some battles (including Arrow Creek with Sitting Bull in 1872) and the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. His forces helped delay some of Custer's backups at Little Bighorn. It is apparently unclear what exact role Crazy Horse played during the battle itself, but it was important/awesome. By January of 1877, however, the Oglala were done. Crazy Horse and his people surrendered. C.H. hung around at Red Cloud Agency in Nebraska, having various conflicts with Red Cloud himself, Spotted Tail, and the Nez Perce Indians. Some shit went down with misinterpretation issues and Crazy Horse tried to escape the white men and his enemies with his wife (one of them, who had TB!). At some point, he was arrested and brought to Camp Robinson, Nebraska. He knew he was screwed and decided to fight back, and was probably stabbed with a bayonet in the struggle. Another Indian on hand, a Little Big Man, claims some shit went down that caused Crazy Horse to accidentally stab himself, but of course, we can never really know. His body was turned over to his parents (Worm/Crazy Horse, Sr. and 1-3 of his stepmothers, I assume), and it is unclear where it was eventually buried/ashes were strewn. MISSING! CONSPIRACY! If this were a soap opera, we'd find out he never actually died, but this is U.S. history and there's no possible way he's still alive now, so TOO BAD.
A statute model of what they're trying to carve out of the mountain or whatever.
They've been trying to build him a memorial in South Dakota since 1948, but it's fucking huge and the Rushmore guy died in the '80s and blahblahblah. But maybe one day. And then it will be the biggest sculpture in the WORLD. P.S. There was a Dr. McGillycuddy involved at the fort at C.H.'s death, though apparently not the boozy doctor. *As far as I can tell, this involves white soldiers being drunk assholes and getting pissed that the Indians were pissed they killed their leader. Whatevs.


  1. Loving Cher is to love all peoples and cultures.

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