Within Every Person's Heart Who Lives Freely, Defiantly, is the Lodge of Crazy Horse

A couple of weeks ago i watched 'Dances with Wolves' for the third time. It seems to move me more each time. It's the 1990 epic western film that tells the story of a Union Army lieutenant who travels to the American frontier in the 1860's to find a military post, and his dealings with a group of Lakota Sioux. It's beautifully shot, historically accurate, and depicts the majesty and pride of the Lakota Sioux culture. Seeing it again started my recent exploration of 'defiance'.

After watching the movie it was easy to empathize with the great tribes of the plains and Tȟašúŋke Witkó - Crazy Horse - {1840 – September 5, 1877) who was the Native American war leader of the Oglala Lakota that led a war party to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876. As author Chris Hedges says in his recent article 'Time To Get Crazy', "There are few resistance figures in American history as noble as Crazy Horse, his ferocity of spirit remains a guiding light for all who seek lives of defiance."

Another great resource for learning about what has been lost by our western 'civilization's destruction of the Native Americans in the American West  is the book 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' by American writer Dee Brown. It's a history of the Ghost Dance and the Native people's displacement of the late nineteenth century through forced relocations and years of warfare waged by the United States federal government. Wounded Knee, (a village on a reservation in South Dakota) was the location of last major confrontation between the U.S. Army and Native American. The event is known formally as the Wounded Knee Massacre, as more than 150, largely unarmed, Sioux men, women, and children were killed that day. Crazy Horse's secret burial site in somewhere in the vicinity.

Pony tribe warriors from the Apache and Comanche to the Zuni to the Hopi to the Navajo to the Ute; from the Shoshone to the Flathead, Crow, Nez Perce and the Sioux defiantly died standing up to the onslaught of European colonization and their 'War on the Wild' which carries on to the present. Today remnants of the pony tribes still live in the place where they were once wild and free. But their sacred land is now fenced, the bison live only in small reserves and the rivers are sucked dry to make ice sculptures in Vegas.

Those few pony tribesmen still standing know in their hearts that history is long and wide. They know, as do we all, that as Touch the Clouds, Crazy Horse’s seven-foot-tall Miniconjou friend, said when he pointed to the blanket that covered the chief’s body and said, “This is the lodge of Crazy Horse.” that within every person's heart who lives freely, defiantly, is the lodge of Crazy Horse.