~ Bear Butte, South Dakota ~

The bear butte formation is actually a lone mountain, not a flat topped butte as the name implies. This is one of several intrusions of the igneous rock that formed along the northern edge of the Black Hills. It all began when a mass of hot, liquid magma forced its way through toward the earth's surface. The magma gently lifted the earth's crust to break through the layers of sedimentary rock. Over time, the forces of wind and water eroded away the overlying layers of sedimentary rock, exposing the harder igneous core. This formation is called a laccolith.

Source: Park signs

This small herd of bison resides in Bear Butte Park

It was a nasty day weather-wise, but I managed to take several photos of part of the mountain and its snow-covered rock formations that were visible.

The bust on the left is of Frank Fools Crow. He was a Lakota Holy Man, Visionary, Ambassador, Healer and Storyteller. He lived from 1890, the year of the Wounded Knee Massacre, until 1989. He was a freequent visitor to Bear Butte. It is believed that he gained many healing powers from the mountain. His stories perpetuated the cultural richness of the Lakota people and included remembrances of his uncle, Black Elk.
Fools Crow's life was dedicated to the promotion of unity and respect for all people. He will always be remembered, not only by family and friends, but by all people of color and those who had the opportunity to shake his gentle hand... the hand of a great leader and a great gentlemen.
He appeared before the United States Senate is 1975. There he gave an invocation. "Give us a blessing so that our words and actions be one in unity, and that we will be able to listen to each other, In doing so, we shall with good heart walk hand in hand to face the future.

On the right you can see prayer cloths hanging from the tree.
This mountain is a place of worship. Notice the colorful prayer cloths tied to trees and bushes along the trail. Although they vary in color from tribe to tribe, they are related to colors associated with the four directions.
Most of the ties are placed in trees after a four-day prayer ceremony. The majority of the cloths you see in these photos are Lakota or Cheyenne in origin although the influence of many other tribes is evident on the mountain.
One should not touch the prayer cloths in order to show respect for indigenous religions.

On the left is the access road. The Park Manager insisted on plowing and spreading gravel on it before I drove Arvie back down as much snow had fallen the couple of hours I was on the mountain. Thinking back, it's a good thing he did, It was very slippery.
On the right is the sign with the text about Bear Butte being a Sacred Place. It is much the same as my text above.

The park Visitor Center, which was closed

More Prayer Cloths

Below the mountain is Bear Butte Lake

A red cliff nearby

Nearby Black Hills

More of the Black Hills from Bear Butte

Music is "Wind Voices"

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