The European settlement of North America met its fiercest opponent, the Lakota also known as the Western Sioux, who inhabited most of the Great Plains. The Oglala tribe, a branch of the Sioux nation were key in the resistance against the white man. At the heart of their resistance stood crazy horse, a warrior that had no equal. Crazy Horse fought for the traditions of his people, until those same people wearied of war and in some cases, turned against him. Chief Crazy Horse led an extraordinary life and will always be remembered.
Crazy Horse was born in the fall of 1841 to the Hunkpatila band of the Oglala tribe of the Sioux Nation. At the time of his birth, his band was camped near a stream called Rapid Creek in the Black Hills. Sioux babies were often given names based on their physical appearance. Later in life, they would receive a formal name after an act of bravery or a spiritual experience. Crazy Horse was affectionately called Curly Hair. Curly Hair looked Different from other Sioux children. He had a narrow face, light skin and soft curly light-brown hair. People said he got his light skin from his mother, a Brule who died when he was still young. The Brules were a tribe within the Sioux Nation. Crazy Horse, the boy's father, was the holy man of the Hunkpatila band, or subgroup, of the Oglala tribe. He was respected for his good advice and wisdom. It was common for a Sioux male to have two wives. When Curly Hairs mother died, Crazy Horse's second wife became his mother.
"When Curly was eleven years old, he killed his first buffalo [by shooting it] with four arrows while riding next to it in a fast chase," (Hook 13). When Curly was twelve, he and some other young Indians of his tribe went to chase horses on one of the nearby plains. Curly caught one of the horses with his rawhide rope, and before the afternoon was over, he had tamed the horse. He brought the horse back to his tribe and his father gave him a new name of "Horse Looking," (Hook 15) but this new name did not stick.
In 1854 Curly visited the Brules' camp with his tribe. There he was introduced to the Brule Chief Conquering Bear. While visiting, a young Brule warrior shot an old near death cow belonging to a man from a Mormon wagon train. The Mormon was furious and demanded the warrior be turned over. Conquering Bear refused and soon Second Leuteneant John Grattan, 29 soldiers, two Howitzer cannons, and an interpreter were sent to retrieve the young Indian. Conquering Bear still refused to turn him over. During all of this Curly is watching atop a cliff. The soldiers began firing into the Brule camp. Conquering Bear fell to the ground mortally wounded (McMurtry 48-62).
This scene deeply affected Curly and made him decide that it was time to have his vision quest. Without performing any of the customary preparations Curly sets off to a sacred hill overlooking Platte River. By mid-afternoon on the third day curly still has not seen anything and returns...