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Crazy Horse [Lakota: Tȟašúŋke Witkó, literally "His-Horse-is-Crazy"; born Cha-O-Ha meaning "In The Wilderness" or "Among the Trees"] (1842 – 5 September 1877) was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux).
- Hokahey! Today is a good day to die.
- War cry of Crazy Horse in battle as quoted at "Setting the Record Straight About Native Languages: A Good Day To Die"
- Another white man's trick! Let me go! Let me die fighting!
- During the final confrontation in which he was fatally wounded, as quoted in Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains (1919) by Charles Alexander Eastman
- My lands are where my dead lie buried.
- As quoted in National Geographic Vol. CX (July-December 1956), p. 487
- One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.
- My friend, I do not blame you for this. Had I listened to you this trouble would not have happened to me. I was not hostile to the white men. Sometimes my young men would attack the Indians who were their enemies and took their ponies. They did it in return. We had buffalo for food, and their hides for clothing and for our tepees. We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on the reservation, where we were driven against our will. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to leave the reservation to hunt. We preferred our own way of living. We were no expense to the government. All we wanted was peace and to be left alone. Soldiers were sent out in the winter, they destroyed our villages. The "Long Hair" [Custer] came in the same way. They say we massacred him, but he would have done the same thing to us had we not defended ourselves and fought to the last. Our first impulse was to escape with our squaws and papooses, but we were so hemmed in that we had to fight. After that I went up on the Tongue River with a few of my people and lived in peace. But the government would not let me alone. Finally, I came back to the Red Cloud Agency. Yet, I was not allowed to remain quiet. I was tired of fighting. I went to the Spotted Tail Agency and asked that chief and his agent to let me live there in peace. I came here with the agent [Lee] to talk with the Big White Chief but was not given a chance. They tried to confine me. I tried to escape, and a soldier ran his bayonet into me. I have spoken.
- As quoted in Literature of the American Indian (1973) by Thomas Edward Sanders and Walter W. Peek, p. 294
- A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.
- As quoted in To Be Just Is to Love : Homilies for a Church Renewing (2001) by Walter J. Burghardt, p. 214
Quotes about Crazy Horse
- Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one. He was on his horse in that world, and the horse and himself on it and the trees and the grass and the stones and everything were made of spirit, and nothing was hard, and everything seemed to float. His horse was standing still there, and yet it danced around like a horse made only of shadow, and that is how he got his name, which does not mean that his horse was crazy or wild, but that in his vision it danced around in that queer way.
It was this vision that gave him his great power, for when he went into a fight, he had only to think of that world to be in it again, so that he could go through anything and not be hurt. Until he was killed at the Soldiers' Town on White River, he was wounded only twice, once by accident and both times by some one of his own people when he was not expecting trouble and was not thinking; never by an enemy. He was fifteen years old when he was wounded by accident; and the other time was when he was a young man and another man was jealous of him because the man's wife liked Crazy Horse.
They used to say that he carried a sacred stone with him, like one he had seen in some vision, and that when he was in danger, the stone always got heavy and protected him somehow. That, they used to say, was the reason that no horse he ever rode lasted very long. I do not know about this; maybe people only thought it; but it is a fact that he never kept one horse long. They wore out. I think it was only the power of his great vision that made him great.