Devils Tower First National Monument, A Pictorial History

 
9780966959369: Devils Tower First National Monument, A Pictorial History

On September 24, 1906, Devils Tower was established as our nation's first National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt, who proclaimed that it was a "natural wonder and object of great scientific interest," and thus should be protected. The Tower is the most prominent landmark in norhteast Wyoming, and in recent centuries has served as a gathering place for such diverse groups as fur traders, early settlers, and modernsight-seers. But long before the coming of the Europeans, Plains Indian peoples worshiped at this awe-inspiring natural formation. Known as "Bear Lodge" to many Northern Plains tribes, the Tower figures prominently in their belief systems and sacred narratives. It is important for its historical place in their spiritual life, and also as a contemporary sacred site where traditional Indian people of today make prayer offerings, seek visions, conduct sweat lodge ceremonies, and perform the annual Sun Dance. For this reason, the Tower Places as a Traditional Cultural Property. Devils Tower also is renowned as a premier "crack-climbing" site with over 100 years of climbing history. The first climb took place on July 4, 1893 amid great fanfare, with over 1,000 spectators. Nearly 5,000 technical climbers from all over the world now scale the Tower each year.

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