Native Village Youth and Education News

March 1, 2009 Issue 195 Volume 4


In search of Crazy Horse
By Tom Lawrence
Condensed by Native Village


South Dakota: It's widely believed that Crazy Horse never posed for a photograph. But for over 25 years, Tim Giago has owned a photo some believed was the legendary Lakota Warrior. In recent months, Giago decided to learn the truth.

Recently, researchers from the"History Detectives, " a show on PBS, decided to accept the challenge. After much research, the experts determined Tim's photo is not Crazy Horse but another Lakota man named Stabber.

Giago said while he’s disappointed in a way, in another way it’s fitting that the photo is not Crazy Horse. “Maybe all the legends that he never had a photo taken are true,” he said.

Stabber was one of 24 Lakota men who accompanied Red Cloud to Washington, D.C., for peace talks in 1872.

The photo came into Giago’s possession 27 years ago when a man named Mr. Evans stopped by to see him. Evans was an admirer of Giago's paper, the Lakota Times, and had a gift for him:  a very old leather pouch, tied with leather strings and lined with green velvet.  Inside was a wood-framed picture with the words Crazy Horse written beneath it. Also enclosed was letter dated 1904 and written in Lakota. The letter was signed by Ben Black Elk and said the photograph was one of his "good friend Crazy Horse.”

Giago thought the photo might be authentic because the letter was written in “very old Lakota, ancient Lakota,” he said. So he asked “History Detectives” to get involved.

On Jan. 29, the “History Detectives” crew arrived at Giago’s house. “We like to show a story that tells a bigger story,” said Eylse Luray, a member of the HD team. “We like to show people how they’re connected to American history, and this was a good chance to tell the story of the Lakota Indians and Crazy Horse.

Most of the filming took place in Giago’s study. The crew also filmed scenes at Crazy Horse Memorial.

 Giago's story will air this summer.

Giago still has the photo, the letter and the leather pouch. He and a member of the History Detectives crew are hoping to find Stabber's family and return the photo to them.


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