The Hunt for Crazy Horse’s Women

It has been a long, bleak three pandemic-stricken years, but – finally! – we’re back! I have been working a long time on my new book, about my hunt for the two women who were so influential in the life of the legendary Chief Crazy Horse and his career – his first love, Black Buffalo Woman; and his wife, Black Shawl. The manuscript is just about ready – I am waiting a few more days in the forlorn hope of getting some more information from the family histories of the descendants. It will be published by Dorrance Publishing of Pittsburg, who have been publishing books for over 100 years and are billed as the oldest in the United States. I expect to have the book out by the Fall of 2023, in both paperback and e-book formats. So, if this is a subject that interests you, do please look out for it. There are a lot of facts and documents there, many culled painstakingly over two visits to the amazing National Archives at Kansas City, MO.

The Archives are a remarkable treasure-house, and, even more remarkably, are open and accessible to all, for free. If you are interested in your history and heritage, I would strongly advocate a visit there. It is well worth the effort.

Just to whet your appetite (I hope!), here is a little extract from my new book “Back to the Red Road : The Hunt for Crazy Horse’s Women” :

“The dust devils chased each other crazily across the arid landscape, framed against a backdrop of stark, rocky mountains. The hot breath of Arabia whispered the death of the glorious Oman winter. Looking up, a startling strip of green grass, the Muscat Hills Golf Course, lay sandwiched between the two strips of brown sand and rock. Above it all, on the horizon, sparkled the azure Sea of Oman, like icing on an especially alluring cake.

It was the summer of 2019, a year after my solo pilgrimage across the Native American heritage of the Great Plains. I had driven from Tulsa to the Yellowstone National Park, drifting through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, and visiting most of the major Native historical landmarks, however off-the-beaten-track, and every relevant museum and memorial, during a month-long odyssey that would turn out to be one of the most memorable, moving and transformative experiences of my entire life. On my return, I had found, somewhat to my astonishment, that my casual notes of the trip were copious and told a compelling story, all on their own! That, eventually, gave birth to my first, ‘accidental’ book, “Red Road Across the Great Plains.”

Sitting in my study, at home in Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman, I gazed across the unique landscape and ruminated. The two years of global isolation, caused by the Covid19 pandemic, were yet to hit, as also was my tryst with colon cancer, both of which, fortunately, passed, in due course. They would, however, both result in serious delays to my research. Cancer trumped history, and the pandemic trampled travel. And, of course, writing at home begets its own perils, with unpredictable, constantly-erupting, minor domestic crises and alarms, like Vesuvius on steroids.

Savoring memories of my journey, a little at a time, every morsel full of riches, I eventually got to thinking of Crazy Horse, and of the two women who played such an influential role in his life and even, indirectly, shaped the course of his career. His first love interest, Black Buffalo Woman, disappears from the pages of history shortly after the attempt on his life, by her husband. His wife, Black Shawl, vanishes, almost equally completely, a few years after his assassination at Fort Robinson. What became of them? How did their lives play out? Did they have descendants, perhaps living today? Did they ever find happiness again?”

More on this book in the months ahead!

Please do leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s