The Journey of Crazy Horse

May 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 16-4: International Indigenous Education, Media Reviews

CRAZY HORSE COVERby Joseph M. Marshall III
The Penguin Group (2004)
272 pages
Hardcover $24.95
ISBN 0 6700-3355-3

Review by Lydia Whirlwind Soldier

Joseph Marshall III is a Sicangu Lakota who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, and his first language is Lakota. He has written six books, all of which I would recommend.

In the 127 years since the murder of Crazy Horse, much has been written about him by Euro-Americans, but it has only touched the surface. While the story told by Marshall has been passed down from one Lakota generation to the next, it has not been shared in detail with the outside world.

The oral tradition is sometimes considered as legend or myth, without the credibility that these stories deserve. Most tribal members who have heard our relatives tell the stories, however, read the non-Indians’ historical accounts with doubt and sometimes disbelief.

This book is one of the few times that oral tradition has been accepted by publishers as authoritative and worthy of being believed.

Having grown up as a Lakota, Marshall is able to capture the nuances of Lakota lifestyle, philosophy, and culture. In this amazing and tragic story he captures the essence of Crazy Horse as a loving son, family man, and brilliant and daring warrior and tactician.

Lydia Whirlwind Soldier (Sicangu Lakota) is an educator, author, and poet in South Dakota. She is a graduate of Sinte Gleska University. Below is a poem by Soldier.


“Tell my people they should
not depend on me no more.”

His journey will endure
in reverence we whisper his name
his spirit flashes on the summit
of Shining Mountains and
in our struggles
he lives
his shadow is on the horizon
in rolling thunder
in every rain cloud and mist
through times of despair
and peril
his presence, a gentle breeze
he lives
he chose
a dimly lighted star in
the eternal circle of
Wiconagi Canku, yet
his path beckons a brighter time
in an indifferent prison
his blood, like a cord between us
binds us in oneness
songs of happy days
entwines not sadness
by hope and pride
his gift — our survival
He lives.

Find similar:

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.