Indian Plume (For Crazy Horse)

Indian Plume for Crazy HorseCrazy Horse stole his first wife.  Black Buffalo Woman was married to another  man named No Water.  Crazy Horse just up and stole her and, in time, she broke his heart. This theft of the heart led to no small amount of acrimony in the tribe, with both Crazy Horse and No Water making repeated attempts on the other’s life.  Finally the Chief stepped in and made Crazy Horse give No Water two horses, and in time, Black Buffalo woman dumped him.  She was the first of  his three wives, all of which he would lose to death or abandonment.

When one drives through the Badlands, the history of that place–or places–seems to lay in wait.  In the high desert, there are plants called Indian Paintbrushes, that I’d always thought were cactus of some kind.  Evidently, they’re not.  I actually don’t really know what the hell they are, other than beautiful.

I think I keep thinking about Crazy Horse because of  the  sad trajectory of his life.  He’d lost his wives, his brother, his father and his dearest friend, Hump; and in his lifetime, he would also lose the ferocious landscape of the Badlands to the white man and the railroads.  His was a life of furious loss, despite fighting mightily to hang onto some semblance of his history and ancestry.  These things too, were lost to him.

His only solace was in nature.  Being on the wrong end of history’s loaded gun, relegated him and millions of other Indians to the shameful footnote of white America’s own  genocidal manifest destiny.

I guess the idea of belonging to a place is something I’ve always considered an idea worth fighting for.  If you’ve ever been to a country that has just lost a war, you know what I mean.  I visited Haiti in the ’80s and early ’90s and there was this despair that hung over  the place like a shawl of angry shadows.

Friends of mine from eastern Europe have told me what it’s like for your country to suddenly lose its borders.  You don’t have to travel to have this discussion; talk to any homeless person about how it feels to no longer have a tether, or a place…or a home.

In our country, we find ourselves in an economic climate where people are just trying to hang onto what they have.  The economic safety nets have proven mythic and there is a hunger in  our cities, the like of which we’ve not seen  since the Great Depression.  The difference now is that there is less continuity of community.  In the 1930s whole neighborhoods pulled together to grow gardens, and conserve rags, tin, fat,rubber and other scrap just to make it by.

It is not so different than what Crazy Horse faced.   History was moving faster than he could hope to; the wealthy taking what they want and sending men with guns to eliminate anyone that stood in the way.

This piece is called,  “Indian Plume.”

Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Indian Plume (For Crazy Horse) « No.9 […]

  2. It’s making everyone crazier and meaner by the minute…

  3. Crazy Horse did not steal any woman! He was married to the 1st
    so called wife. She was horing around on him and Black Shawl
    decided to go for Crazy Horse. The two of them, Crazy Horse and
    Black Shawl, were deeply in love and the 1st wife caught them and
    was so insanly jealous that she made up this entire story about herself
    to historian whitemen to defile Crazy Horse after his death and to make herself look like some wonderful kind of a woman that 2 men would fight for and to make it look like she “dumped” the greatest
    Lakota man who ever lived, as if she even had anything to offer. She told Crazy Horse shortly after they were married, “cook your own food,make your own fire, scrape your own hides.” Crazy Horse was an honorable man and never stole any man’s wife. His step father and mentor was Hump. Crazy Horse met Black Shawl with Hump outside of a mining town. Crazy Horse and Black Shawl fell in love instantly. Black Shawl did not know Carzy Horse was newly married to Black Buffalo when she rushed him.
    Black Buffalo Woman found out the two of them were together and told the men to take away the medicine shirt of Crazy Horse. It made her look bad when she lost her husband to another woman, a woman who loved Crazy Horse more than anything and glady took care of his every need and desire. Revenge for Black Buffalo Woman was to rewrite history and the life of Crazy Horse and Black Shawl after they died so no one would dispute her made up legacy. No Water never
    fought Crazy Horse for a woman, especially one who was lazy. When
    Black Shawl died, it was in the arms of her lover, Crazy Horse. He deeply grieved her death and their daughter’s death, They Are Afraid of Her, for months. The own words of Crazy Horse “never have I loved a woman like I love Black Shawl”. And no, Crazy Horse was not in love with the woman who was 1/2 white and 1/2 Cheynne who came to the Cheyenne as a child who saw visions. He cared for her as a holy woman and respected her for her sacred gifts, which later he discovered she was nothing more than a witch and stopped having caring feelings for her. “I loved her like a sister and nothing more”. Crazy Horse said. Even before Black Shawl died, men of the tribe would sholve young girls into the face of Crazy Horse trying to get him
    to have sex with them and marry them. After Black Shawl died, this
    sick behavior of the tribes men continued until finally 3 months after
    the death of his only beloved wife, to shut everyone up, he married some woman he didn’t love or care for named Helen aka chi chi brown eyes, that also hored on
    him and convienced him to go unarmed into the white man’s post where he was brutally beaten by 6 men and stabbed by his own cousin and they waited for hours before calling a doctor. Crazy Horse died before the doctor arrived. They called him a “Red Devil” and were glad he died.. Crazy Horse did not cut his hair the day before as it has been recorded by some. His biological father was a white man, a Viking. He did not have any step mothers either. Brown eyes made a deal with Crazy Horses’ cousin to kill Crazy Horse in exchange for sex. and he agreed. This cousin was very jealous of Crazy Horse anyway. There are no pictures of Crazy Horse. He never alllowed it. He once broke a camera on a tripod when a man tried to take his picture. I am Oglala Sioux. People even today are rewriting history. It all depends on who the historians interview and they are at the mercy of the truth and accuracy of everyone they interview for facts and knowledge of the dead person they want to write about. HIstory readers are also at the mercy of the historians who record the interviews. They change things for a more juicy story or if they didn’t like the person they are writing about, they sometimes add their own opinions without the reader knowing it. It is not just Crazy Horse that has had lies recorded about him, but most people throughout history. And for pictures, how many people want to be famous for having a photograph of a mysterious and famous person? There are many things the reader must take into considerations when reading. How factual are these “facts” and who’s truth is being recorded? The false truth of the interviewed or
    the interviewer? There is a day with everyone’s name on it when the truth of all things will be make known and no one can change the real truth. Then the universe will know the real truth about Crazy Horse and his life and wives. I simply cannot leave this site without defending
    Crazy Horse and Black Shawl. The writers of that time left this world thinking that Crazy Horse was some kind of nut case over a woman
    fighting for her when she was most unworthy of having, thinking he was “DUMPED” when in the truth she was dumped, thinking he was stupid for going unarmed into the whiteman facility where he was killed when in deed it was a most unloving and deceiving wanna be wife to convience him to go in the first place and unarmed. Crazy Horse would never give up or go unarmed anywhere. Always he wore his knife. He was so fast with it you couldn’t see him moving. He was not
    a coward, he was not in love with any woman other than Black Shawl. He was the most incredible husband and father there could have ever been. He would want his spirit of Crazy Horse to stand for honor, Godliness, fearlessness and for all that is right in the eyes of our Creator. Not for his life to make “EVERYONE CRAZIER AND MEANER BY THE MINUTE”.

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