Bear Butte is a geological feature located in western
South Dakota that was established as a State Park in
1961. An important landmark and religious site for the
Plains Indians tribes long before Europeans reached
South Dakota, Bear Butte is called Mato Paha, or Bear
Mountain, by the Lakota, or Sioux.
To the Cheyenne, it is
Noahvose, the place where Maheo (God)
imparted to Sweet Medicine (a mythical hero)
the knowledge from which the Cheyenne derive
their religious, political, social, and
economic customs. The mountain is sacred to
many indigenous peoples, who make
pilgrimages to leave prayer cloths and
bundles tied to the branches of the trees
along the mountainís flanks. Other offerings
are often left at the top of the mountain.
The site is associated with various
religious ceremonies throughout the year.
The mountain is a place of prayer,
meditation, and peace.