Crazy Horse as an Icon

Crazy Horse as an Icon
Tariq Khan
Sociology 65
Professor Thorne
Who is Crazy Horse?
One of the greatest Indian Warrior Chiefs
Believed to be born in the year 1840, along Rapid
Creek, South Dakota.
Son of the powerful Sioux Indian Nation that
dominated the Western Plains.
Crazy Horse was from the western most band, called
the Lakota.
The Lakota controlled the largest territory. Starting
with the Missouri River and going west, all the way
to the Big Horn Mountains, and south all the way to
the North Platte River.
Who is Crazy Horse? (cont)
At the time of Crazy Horse’s birth, the
Lakota’s were at their peak of power.
The Lakota were proud and free, Contact with
the whites was minimal, and their culture was
For most of his youth, Crazy Horse lived
freely with his people on the Great Plains.
Contact with the Whites
By the 1850’s, the whites had made firm inroads into
the great plains.
Hundreds of Lakota people were dieing because of
the diseases the white man had brought on their quest
for expansion.
First open rupture between whites and Sioux occurred
in 1854.
The Grattan Massacre was east of Fort Laramie in
A cow wandered into the encampment that Crazy
Horse was visiting at the time and was slaughtered
for food.
Contact with the Whites (cont)
The owner wanted the
cow back, but was not
in any shape to be
returned so Lieutenant
Grattan and thirty-one
men went to the village
of Chief Conquering
Bear and demanded him
to surrender the men
that shot the mans cow.
Contact with the Whites (cont)
When they refused to turn in the men, Grattan
decided to open fire upon the village and their people,
killing Conquering Bear in the line of fire.
His enraged followers descended upon Grattan and
his men, killing all of them.
Thus began, thirty years of conflict and open warfare
between the U.S. Government and the Sioux.
This event and the death of Conquering Bear had a
lasting affect on Crazy Horse. He no longer had trust
in the whites.
Fascination with Crazy Horse
One interesting fact is that no one truly knows
how he looks as there is no known photograph
of him in existence. There is not even a
signature, as his hands never touched a peace
He was one of the U.S. Army’s most sought
after Indian Chiefs ever.
He had a special power/medicine that no one
else had that protected him in warfare.
Fascination with Crazy Horse (cont)
He was the master of the decoy strategy which was
extremely effective.
He would lure a group of enemies into a trap where
hundreds of Sioux would be waiting to attack.
(Bozeman Trail War 1866-1868)
He was such a great warrior that he earned a very
singular honor. He was made a shirt wearer. Only
four people that were designated within the tribe to be
shirt wearers. Generally the most respected young
men within the tribe.
Fascination with Crazy Horse (cont)
He met a woman by the name of Black Buffalo
Before he could ask her to marry him, she married
someone else.
In 1870 Black Buffalo Woman, left her husband No
Water, and ran off with Crazy Horse and eventually
became the wife of Crazy Horse.
No Water did not take this lightly, and tracked them
back to their village and found them, and shot Crazy
Horse through the jaw and now Crazy Horse had a
scar on his face of his love affair.
Fascination with Crazy Horse (cont)
One responsibility he had as a shirt wearer, he was
not to cause problems in his tribe, so they took the
shirt away from him.
No longer one of the recognized leaders, but still
maintained the respect and status without the shirt.
Warriors would follow Crazy Horse not because he
had good strategy in war, but because he was such a
superb warrior and showed such bravery in war that
warriors would follow him.
Crazy Horse: Modern Day Icon
The U.S. Army embarrassed after the Sioux victory,
they rounded up as many men as possible to wage an
all out war on the Sioux. They move north looking
for the the Sioux, Sitting Bull and his followers fled
northward into Canada, but Crazy Horse did not want
to leave, did not want to give up.
His followers were so miserable, that they eventually
began to abandon him.
He realized this, and did not want his people to go
through this hardship so Crazy Horse and his band
arrived at Fort Robinson Nebraska, the army quickly
confiscated his arms and horses.
Crazy Horse: Modern Day Icon
General George Crook wanted to take advantage of Crazy
Horse’s military skills. He wanted Crazy Horse to lead these
scouts to track all the bands moving towards Canada.
Crazy Horse resisted and word got around that he was going to
attempt to escape and re-enter the reservations.
With Crooks orders, they arrested Crazy Horse and he was
told the commanding officer wanted to speak to him. He came
in peacefully thinking he was coming to a meeting, instead he
was grabbed by one of his own men, and bayoneted in the
kidneys by a U.S. Army soldier.
Crazy Horse: Modern Day Icon
He was carried next door to the adjuncts office and
put on the floor. Accompanied by his close friend
Touch the Clouds and his father, he died painfully in
the late hours of September 5th, 1877.
Crazy Horse became a Symbol of Lakota Resistance.
A legendary warrior who fought to the bitter end,
who never gave up, who struggled for his people, and
gave his life in defense of their way of life.
Warrior over Orator
More people want to know how Native Americans
fought and defended against their enemies, rather
than how they spoke to them.
I believe that is why there is so much press
surrounding great Warrior Leaders such as Crazy
Horse and Sitting Bull, because they had the
characteristics a true leader should have.
We want to know the battles that were fought, and the
bravery that every warrior showed when it came to
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