Photographer's Note

Paha Sapa

A dawn rain
The Black Hills from the Needles Highway
Custer State Park
South Dakota

South Dakota is the State where I was born and raised. It amazed me to discover only seven pages of images of South Dakota on Trek Earth (less than 10% of the number of Colorado - where I currently reside) ... So after spending last week there I think it is time to see if we canít start to bump up the Dakota image total to a more respectable level.

ďPaha SapaĒ (Hills that are Black) is the Lakota (Teton Sioux) word to describe the region known as the Black Hills. The Hills are a small mountain range that stretch across the Western edge of South Dakota and into Wyoming .. a prelude to the Rocky Mountains further West ..

Under the domino effect of pressure from the Westward expansion of the United States the Lakota moved into the region from Minnesota in the late eighteenth century displacing several other peoples.

In 1868 the government of the United States entered into a treaty that promised the Hills to the Lakota. However, after several reports of gold in 1874 Brevet General George Armstrong Custer (who would later be killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn) led an expedition into the Hills that confirmed massive quantities of gold. Custerís expedition led to a massive gold rush. The government of the United States decided to made no effort to enforce the Treaty of 1868.

In many ways the Black Hills gold rush is one of the pivotal events of Western history and can be seen as leading to Little Big Horn, Wounded Knee, and the creation of the Sioux reservations by the United States.

The Lakota consider the Hills a sacred place .. the spiritual center of the universe.
They have never accepted the United Statesí payment and Supreme Court settlement for the land. The money continues to be untouched and accrue interest.

When I see this place this history always hits home for me and makes this a place of beauty and sorrow. It is a place to approach with reverence and respect.

The Hills are a small region dense in beauty and sites .. They are home to Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Devilís Tower National Monument, Deadwood (the stomping ground of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane ... and several other significant Western historical sites), Harney Peak (the highest point in the United States East of the Rockies), Custer State Park (one of the largest State parks and one of the richest in pristine beauty and wildlife), Several significant caves including Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument.

Any potential visitor to the hills should check on the dates of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (typically in August .. it is starting this next week). The Rally brings more than a half a million bikers to the small region.

more info:

lucasgalodoido, saylan-cb, jwmunro, gunbud, danos, rigoletto, Angelillo ha contrassegnato questa nota come utile

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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