Literature Arts & Culture

Dr. John O. Hunter: Genghis Khan and Crazy Horse

By Dr. John O. Hunter
Of the world’s warrior chiefs, the two most fascinating for me are Genghis Khan and the Lakota Crazy Horse, the latter far less notable, but they were similar in character and style:
Neither would allow an image/picture to be taken of him; both were fierce and fearless in command, yet humble in personal relations; both were innovative in their battle tactics and strategically brilliant; both were hated but  respected by their enemies,and enormously loved by their tribes; both were secretly buried and burial site never revealed; both loved horses (Crazy Horse at great risk went back on the battlefield to rescue one of his); Crazy Horse was reviled as a savage; the Khan in history has been compared, falsely, to Napolean and Hitler.
Both leaders saw beyond their physical lives. Genghis Khan was born of humble beginnings but became the mightiest conqueror the world has known,beyond Alexander, yet he did not seek to rule the world; his vision was “to end slavery and unite all peoples in peace under the eternal blue skies.”
Their stories differ in their deaths: Crazy Horse was betrayed and murdered, Genghis Kahn lived to old age and died surrounded by his loving family; his “spirit banner” was carried by Mongols for 800 years until destroyed in the totalitarian 20th Century. An enormous monument in his honor was built in Mongolia. Likewise, the biggest monument in the U.S. is built for Crazy Horse in the Black Hills of Dakota plains territory “where his dead lie buried.”