Native American Ceremonies in June at Devils Tower

Native American Ceremonies in June at Devils Tower

June
Devils Tower is an 867-foot-tall rock formation located in northeast Wyoming. For centuries, it has been the sacred site of Native American religious and cultural ceremonies. These include vision quests, sweat-lodge rites, prayer offerings, pipe ceremonies and the group ritual known as the Sun Dance. The Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, Eastern Shoshone, Crow and Kiowa are among more than 20 Native American tribes that honor Devils Tower as a holy place and a vital cultural resource. In more recent times, Devils Tower also has become a popular site for tourists and for rock climbers.
June is an especially active and significant month for Native American ceremonies at Devils Tower because of the occurrence of the summer solstice. On June 21, various tribes hold private and sacred services at the tower's base. As a result, in 1995 the U.S. National Park Service, which maintains the tower as a national monument, asked climbers to refrain voluntarily from visiting during June in order not to disrupt religious ceremonies. In 1996, the Park Service also banned guided tours during June. Though these moves were controversial, with at least one law suit filed in response, many climbers respect the voluntary ban. Park officials have noted a decrease of up to 85 percent of normal climbing activity in June.
CONTACTS:
Devils Tower National Monument
P.O. Box 10
Devils Tower, WY 82714
307-467-5283; fax: 307-467-5350
www.nps.gov/archive/deto/home.htm
Full browser ?