Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Lakota people Pages: 3 (666 words) Published: September 21, 2014

Bray, Kingsley M. Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006. Crazy Horse is one on the most ambiguous yet legendary leaders in the American Indian history. The book Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life attempts to tell the story of one of the most feared by foes, and honored by allies American Indian leaders. Kingsley M. Bray draws from primary sources and other biographies to construct the tragic sequence of childhood conflict, deception, and misjudgments that shaped the leader’s adulthood affairs and eventually led to his demise. The book reveals a new biography not only in the warrior’s battles, but also the often time overlooked political and religious struggles he faced. It gives a new outlook on the man inside the legend.

Crazy Horse, born Curly Hair, was born in the early 1840’s from father, Crazy Horse, and mother, Rattle Blanket Woman. The beginning of the book illustrates the progression of Curly Hair from childhood, through maturity, into warrior. Most books about American Indian tribes in the early years of United Sates colonization emphasize on the conflict between Americans and Native Americans, but Bray also focuses on the struggles Crazy Horse faced within his own community. Tragedy struck at early age of four for Crazy Horse when his own mother hung herself. The incident commenced a life of isolation for the warrior and the immersion into religious beliefs and practices. As someone who is intrigued by the religious side of history, I applaud Bray for skillfully illustrating the religious rituals. Bray does a wonderful job accentuating Crazy Horse’s quest for religious freedom through the depictions of his visions and rituals. Nonetheless, the author also addresses the issues between the Lakota tribe and Americans. With tension continuing to grow between the two, battles broke out throughout the land. Crazy Horse showed great leadership qualities and war tactics, which was evident in the attack against Capt. William J....
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