Post by bradandlaurie on Oct 3, 2007 13:22:42 GMT -5
Bear Butte is a South Dakota State Park and offers an interesting perspective on the history of the region. I have read authors who dispute Native American claims that the Black Hills are 'sacred' territory. Bear Butte is dramatic evidence that there are sacred grounds very near the Black Hills. The State of South Dakota is trying to protect the sacred character of the area but still manages to maintain a visitors center near the butte.
I realize that the perception of it as sacred land is something that can only be understood on a personal level. There is no way to definitively prove the spiritual nature of a location. It is interesting to walk the trail up the butte and see the numerous prayer bundles and offering left by the faithful. As sacrilegious as I am in many ways I couldn't help but feel a little humbled by it all.
From a historical standpoint Bear Butte is also interesting in that the army considered it a strategic location in the planning of a future army post very near here. There is even a monument, difficult to find but there, to an early army camp near the butte.