Publication Date

Spring 2005


Every summer, thousands of climbers and nearly half a million other tourists flock to Devils Tower in Wyoming due to its spectacular views and challenging climbing conditions. And every summer, members of several different Native American tribes travel to the religious site known as Bear Lodge, their name for Devils Tower, to perform religious rituals such as the Sun Dance. The Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, Kiowa, and Lakota all recognize Devils Tower as a sacred religious site, "grant it a prominent place in their mythology and oral histories, and in the past probably used it for individual religious observances" (Brown 2003: 152). The result is a battle between the Native Americans who see and use the site for religious purposes and the non-Indians who see the site as simply nature at its best. While the main purpose of this essay is an analysis of the Hopi Katsina and the Ojibwa dreamcatcher, Devils Tower offers an interesting example that frames the key issues of this essay.



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