Aug 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Crazy Horse

I have decided that Crazy Horse, of the Oglala Lakota people, was born in 1843.  The historians' best guesses place the year as early as 1838, as late as 1846, with the general drift in the middle of that range.  So I choose 1843 because that makes this year one of those newspaper fillers announcing a birthday ending in the "iconic" zero, in this case his 140th.

Furthermore, I have designated the precise day to be my own birth anniversary. It isn't too much of a stretch. Things got dreary in the buffalo hide lodges out in Powder River country in the Moon of the Deep Cold. After you heard the same coup-counting tales for the third time since autumn raid on the Crows, there wasn't much to do other than crook a finger at one of your wives and settle in under the sleeping robes. Nine  months later, in the Moon of the Yellowing Cottonwood, Sioux camps reverberated with papoose squalls.

I have no physical gift to offer to Curly (later Crazy Horse, also called Strange Man). Murdered at age of 34, he's beyond need of powder and lead and three-point blankets, so probably something symbolic will be appropriate.

Something honoring his memory as a three per center of his people, just as  some of us try to be among ours. Something noting that he fully accepted  and fought for the traditional libertarian life of the Teton nations. Something lamenting that it got him killed by timid and traitorous friends, even though the instrument was a blue-coat bayonet at the door of the Iron House at Fort Robinson.

Maybe I'll publish it; maybe I won't. If I do I'll title it "The Man Who Was Not a Savage."


Anonymous said...

Now, don't go invoking Jean Jacques Rousseau's purity of the primitive savages on us!
I'm sure he was just as flawed as any 'modern' American murdered dude.


Jim said...

Naah. He was nothing like Rousseaian. Closer to Jack Bauer. He was just the Oglalla who couldn't be bought.

Among other things, he was overly randy for Black Shawl who boffed him despite the wishes of her husband. This created his first known political crisis.

Anonymous said...

See. He WAS flawed!