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Mountains and Summits

Bear Butte

North American Plains Black Hills
4,426 ft

Bear Butte is a geological laccolith feature located near Sturgis, South Dakota, United States, that was established as a State Park in 1961. An important landmark and religious site for the Plains Indians tribes long before Europeans reached South Dakota, Bear Butte is called Matho Paha, or Bear Mountain, by the Lakota, or Sioux. To the Cheyenne, it is known as Noaha-vose ("giving hill") or Nahkohe-vose ("bear hill"), and is the place where Ma'heo'o (God) imparted to Sweet Medicine, a Cheyenne prophet, the knowledge from which the Cheyenne derive their religious, political, social, and economic customs. The mountain is sacred to many indigenous peoples, who make pilgrimages to leave prayer cloths and tobacco bundles tied to the branches of the trees along the mountain's flanks. Other offerings are often left at the top of the mountain. The site is associated with various religious ceremonies throughout the year. The mountain is a place of prayer, meditation, and peace. The park includes a campsite west of South Dakota Highway 79 where horseback riding, fishing, and boating are permitted. On the summit side of Highway 79, a moderately sized herd of buffalo roams the base of the mountain. An education center and a summit trail are available. Official park policy advises visitors to Bear Butte to respect worshipers and to leave religious offerings undisturbed. Park fees are waived for those undertaking religious activities. Some nearby land was also obtained by some Native American tribes in later years as well.
Source: Wikipedia

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