Culture kept alive at Crazy Horse Memorial Labor Day Open House

CUSTER, S.D. (KEVN) - People from all across the globe at Crazy Horse Memorial for a longtime tradition .

"People would come and we want them to see what was being done, what's been done since the last time they were here. At the time, there was a new gift shop or something like that or the model was being finished in 1964 so we've been doing it for many years," said Jadwiga Ziolkowski, CEO of Crazy Horse Memorial.

At this year's Labor Day open house, people could witness new footage of men working on the mountain and immersing themselves in the vibrant customs of Native American Culture.

Christina Gutierrez was visiting for the first time and said after seeing the mountain, "Spectacular. Look at it. Look at it. It's amazing you know. I don't know how else to put it. It is hard to put into words."

Gutierrez said she was personally touched by the jingle dress healing dance performed at the open house.

"I came all the way down here to pray for my dad whose battling cancer right now so this hit home with her healing dance that she did. This whole place is just very spiritual for me and it was well worth the strive coming all the way from Colorado to be here," Gutierrez continued.

It is a tradition dancers say can resonate with anyone.

"When we dance with this, healing energy comes from this and it's not just for us but it's for people around us when we dance and so we explain this to this and how this can benefit them or maybe someone that's not here, they just think of them and how it can bring healing to them," said Jessie TakenAlive Rencountre, who danced at the open house.

The CEO of Crazy Horse says it is important for people to not only see the work on the mountain and memorial but more importantly the culture that underlies it all.

"It's keeping the culture that is so beautiful, we're just trying to keep that alive and people to learn about it because it really is something that should not be lost," said Ziolkowski.