Author William Matson, along with relatives of Crazy Horse, will be coming to the Dodge City Public Library on April 9 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
The family will be Dodge City for their 107th book signing of Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior’s Life and Legacy, based on the family’s oral history, told in the first-person to Matson.
"Once the family revealed who they were, they desired a book be written to correct the false stories about Crazy Horse," said Mae Dialino, PR with Reel Contact, a documentary filmmaking and media distribution company. "They began to go to the sites told in their oral history usually found via landmarks or shapes in the land in 2001. By 2010 they were ready to put it in writing.
"Since William Matson had seen and videoed many of these oral history sites with them for their relatives who were unable to go into the country, they asked him to write it."
According to Dialino, the book took around one year to write with an additional six months for corrections done by family members prior to be given the green light to search for a publisher. The book came to be due to the family wanting to correct falsehoods regarding Crazy Horse and the stories that had been written about him. "Prior to this time the family still feared the government," said Dialino. "Why? Crazy Horse was murdered in 1877.
His first cousin Spotted Elk of as the Americans dubbed him, Bigfoot, along with several of their other family members were massacred at Wounded Knee once the cavalry realized they were of the Crazy Horse family.
"Crazy Horse's little brother Makah or Peter Wolf as he was known on the reservation was gunned down in front of his wife and daughter after publicly stating he was Crazy Horse's little brother in 1918. "And then in the 1930s when a book was written stating Crazy Horse was buried in the Pine Ridge area, his little sister replied that he wasn't which caused the government to begin to look for her again.
"Thus they kept a vow of silence until 2000 because of fear the government might retaliate."
The public who attends is expected to learn the truth about Crazy Horse, said Dialino, and how the family is planning to reclaim his agency which was 8.7 million acres including the Black Hills.
Along with Matson, Crazy Horse relatives Floyd Clown and Doug War Eagle will be in attendance.
Some of the stories that will be discussed by the family are who killed General Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn as well as the vision Crazy Horse had of his death that was carved on a rock.
"The Crazy Horse family's oral history had not been told outside the family for over a century," said Dialino. "Now it is finally being told by the Floyd Clown who is the son of Edward Clown, a nephew to Crazy Horse and the keeper of the Crazy Horse family’s sacred pipe after his mother Iron Cedar passed away, and his brother Doug War Eagle.
"War Eagle is Edward Clown’s grandson. A third brother, Don Red Thunder also contributed to the book but will not be available on this visit.
"Matson is a multi-award winning documentary filmmaker and this is his first book.
The family plans to adopt him as a brother. Clown, War Eagle, and Matson all reside in South Dakota."
There will be books available at the signing.
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