Monday, March 11

the Laccolith

Mato Paha

A Sacred Mountain
"Many American Indians see Bear Butte as a place where the creator has chosen to communicate with them through visions and prayer.

"Mato Paha or "Bear Mountain" is the Lakota name given to this site. To the Cheyenne, it is "Noahvose." This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago."

"During your visit, you will see colorful pieces of cloth and small bundles or pouches hanging from the trees. These prayer cloths and tobacco ties represent the prayers offered by individuals during their worship. Please respect these offerings and leave them undisturbed."  (SD Game, Fish and Parks)


Red said...

There should be more publicity about the markings for prayer so they they are not vandalized. I liked your photo and story that goes along with the land feature.

Caroline said...

Red, this is a State Park and National Wildlife Refuge area, there are very careful rules about respecting the Native culture and prayer offerings, people are extremely respectful, fortunately. It really is an impressive sight rising out of the prairie. I have been to the top once, not sure the knees have the stamina to do it again. :o)