Article: Is This Crazy Horse? Investigating Indian Country’s Most Controversial Photo

By Angela Aleiss

Once again, the debate over the alleged tintype photo of Crazy Horse has surfaced. True West magazine in its January 2015 issue features “100 Best Historical Photos of the American Indian,” and photo number 97 includes the tantalizing caption, “Is This Crazy Horse?”

The privately owned Custer Battlefield Museum in Garryowen, Montana, says it is. The tintype has been the museum’s prized possession for almost 15 years, and its website boasts of a “striking correlation between the eyewitness descriptions of Crazy Horse and the man in the portrait supposedly taken in the late summer of 1877 at Fort Robinson, Nebraska (merely weeks or days before his death on September 5). The museum says it can trace the photo’s provenance to its first owner Baptiste (Little Bat) Garnier, who claimed to persuade the Lakota leader to have his picture taken.

The museum’s online store sells the Crazy Horse photo for $1.

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