|Bear Butte, SD|
To the northeast of the Black Hills, the plains dip into Iron Horse valley, which then begins to rise again into rolling hills. These hills are riddled with gates. Go a bit further to the east, and look north. You will see the Bear Hill.
The Giving Hill rises high above a windswept green plain. Buffalo rest and graze in the mountain's foothills. Pines rise all the way to its top, although much of the mountain looks bare from a distance. Get a glimpse of it, and it will call to you. To arrive is to know you are in a special place.
More than one prophet has found his or her calling here. The different peoples of the plains make their journeys to the Bear Hill to pray, meditate, and leave offerings. Many of these prayer bundles and cloth strips are tied to trees at the base of the mountain; others are left at the mountaintop. Peace treaties can be negotiated here - if the parties are really prepared to make peace.
Photo copyright 2013 John Everett Till.