"Rock Tree" is Kiowa for what natural formation?

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"Rock Tree" in Kiowa legend is also known as Devils Tower, most commonly formed from cooled down lava or magma. The Devils Tower got its name when an American interpreter thought that the Indigenous peoples referred to the giant structure as "Bad God's Tower," when it actually was called "Grizzly...

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"Rock Tree" in Kiowa legend is also known as Devils Tower, most commonly formed from cooled down lava or magma. The Devils Tower got its name when an American interpreter thought that the Indigenous peoples referred to the giant structure as "Bad God's Tower," when it actually was called "Grizzly Bear Lodge" or "The Home of the Bear," or as the Kiowa call it—"Aloft on a Rock" or "Tree Rock." It's often connected to bears, due to the legends of the Kiowa and the Lakota tribes.

According to the Kiowa people, seven sisters were playing with their brother one day, when suddenly the little boy turned into a giant bear with big, sharp claws. Terrified, the sisters started to run, trying to escape from the bear that was chasing after them. They ran to a big tree, which spoke to them and told them that they should climb to the top. The tree then grew all the way to the sky so that the girls could escape the angry bear that was scratching the trunk of the tree, thus forming the structure.

In another version of the legend, the sisters were chased by several bears, and right before the bears caught them, the girls jumped on a small, short rock and prayed for their lives. Their prayers were answered and the rock grew taller and taller, while the bears that were scratching it broke their claws and fell.

The Kiowa believe that the seven sisters actually became the seven stars of the constellation known as the Big Dipper. Thus, the Devils Tower is of great cultural and spiritual meaning and importance to the Kiowa tribe, as it symbolizes the connection between the Kiowa people and nature and the universe.

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