devils-tower-lodge

The Lakota call it Matȟó Thípila, the Bears’ Lodge. The mountain and its base are nearly a quarter-mile high, and the Lodge itself is a mile in circumference. The mistaken but now enshrined original translation was DEVILS TOWER, and it stuck, not surprisingly given advances in photography in a Christian nation anxious to tour its newly won assets. But the BEAR’S LODGE, the much closer translation, refers to a myth in which a giant bear left its claw marks down the mountain’s sides while trying to reach seven frightened Lakota maidens. Works a lot better here.