Bear Butte is a geological butte feature located in western South Dakota, United States, 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 Mathó Pahá, or Bear Mountain, by the Lakota, or Sioux. To the Cheyenne, it is Noahȧ-vose ("giving hill") or Náhkȯhe-vose ("bear hill"), the place where Ma'heo'o (God) imparted to Sweet Medicine, a Cheyenne prophet, 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 mountain’s 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.
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