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Photo of the Week : Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming

Photo of the Week : Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming

The Devil’s Tower monolith that rises out of the grassland of Wyoming north of the town of Gillette has baffled geologists for centuries.  While no one knows exactly how it came about, it has inspired thousands to climb to the top of this magnificent rock formation.

Sacred to the Lakota, most of the surrounding tribes called the tower some variation of “Home of the Bear.”  As they were known to do, the American explorers misinterpreted the meaning of the Native American words and thought they were saying “Bad God’s Tower.” This naturally became “Devils Tower.”  In 2005, a movement attempted to rename the monument Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark, but adequate support didn’t develop for the change.

Per Wikipedia :

According to the Native American tribes of the Kiowa and Lakota Sioux, some girls went out to play and were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. In an effort to escape the bears, the girls climbed atop a rock, fell to their knees, and prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heavens so that the bears could not reach the girls. The bears, in an effort to climb the rock, left deep claw marks in the sides, which had become too steep to climb. (Those are the marks which appear today on the sides of Devils Tower.) When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the star constellation the Pleiades.