Saturday, November 15, 2008
Cheyenne to Sundance, Wyoming
All who have seen the gigantic stump-like formation, known as Devils Tower, rising some 1,200 feet above the Belle Fourche River, will understand why it inspired the imagination of the Indians. They called it Mateo Tepee, meaning Grizzly Bear Lodge, and had several legends regarding its origin. According to the Kiowas, who at one time are reputed to have lived in the region, their tribe once camped on a stream where there were many bears. One day seven little girls were playing at a distance from the village and were chased by some bears. The girls ran toward the village and when the bears were about to catch them, they jumped to a low rock about three feet in height. One of them prayed to the rock, "Rock, take pity on us--Rock, save us." The rock heard them and began to elongate itself upwards, pushing the children higher and higher out of reach of the bears, When the bears jumped at them they scratched the rock, broke their claws and fell back upon the ground. The rock continued to push the children upward into the sky while the bears jumped at them, The children are still in the sky, seven little stars in a group (the pleiades). According to the legend the marks of the bears' claws may be seen on the side of the rock.
Vore Buffalo Jump - Sundance, Wyoming
Between 1500 and 1800, the ancestors of Plains Indian tribes killed and butchered as many as 20,000 bison by driving them into this large sinkhole.
Scouts took days to carefully herd the scattered bison into a large group near the jump site. Other tribe members were positioned along 'drive lines' to funnel the herd toward the 'jump.' When all was in place, the bison were stampeded over the jump. This impressive diorama was in the free museum in the Sundance Courthouse. Which by the way is "free admission"