Devils Tower at dusk and an hour or so before, with the warm winter light falling on the tower’s columns.
Devils Tower, or what the natives call Bears Lodge, is a beautiful place of my past that I revisit when I can.
It’s always drawn me near… the powerful presence this giant landmark has… which is why any tribe that encountered it has known the place for it’s true awesome energy and incoorperated the lodge in their oral histories.
Out of all the historical ties to the Arapaho, Crow, Lakota, Cheyenne, Kiowa and Shoshone tribes, my favorite creation story is from the Kiowa. It goes as follows:
Before the Kiowa came south they were camped on a stream in the far north where there were a great many bears, many of them. 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 the bears were just about to catch them when the girls jumped on a low rock, about three feet high. One of the girls prayed to the rock, “Rock take pity on us, rock save us!” The rock heard them and began to grow upwards, pushing the girls higher and higher. When the bears jumped to reach the girls, they scratched the rock, broke their claws, and fell on the ground. The rock rose higher and higher, the bears still jumped at the girls until they were pushed up into the sky, where they now are, seven little stars in a group known today as The Pleiades in the constellation Taurus. In the winter, in the middle of the night, the seven stars are right over this high rock. When the people came to look, they found the bears’ claws, turned to stone, all around the base.