Framing Landscapes

Tags: Bear Butte, cultural landscapes, Black Hills, interpretation, cultural values, South Dakota, cultural tourism, national identity, landscapes, Native American, concept, Native American spirituality, interpretations, indigenous peoples, cultural landscape, cultural identity, UNESCO, Linea Sundstrom, economic development, cultural heritage preservation, Sundstrom, sacred space, sacred site, Rapid City Journal, National Historic Landmark, National Historic Landmarks Program, National Parks Service, National parks, Bear Butte State Park, preservation, national symbols, Nabokov, heritage preservation
Content: Framing Landscapes And the preservation and interpretation of Bear Butte Nicholas Waller Master's Dissertation 2006 International Museum Studies Gцteborgs University Supervisor: Peter Davis 1
Abstract This dissertation examines the concept of landscapes as beholding many meanings. A landscape in itself is not limited to a physical place or environment as it can be considered in abstract terms. Landscapes are increasingly relevant to heritage studies as they often times provide a frame for defining and preserving natural, cultural and even so called `world' heritage ­ the heritage of humanity. Yet, landscapes, as canvases of collective or individual experiences, prove to be complexly intricate entanglements of many interpretations. These different cultural interpretations lead to different expressions of the past and its narration in the present. The author explains landscapes as they are manifested in cultural memory, ritual, tradition and spirituality for Plains Indian people of the United States regarding the Black Hills region of South Dakota and in particular a lone mountain known as Bear Butte, as a landscape of multiple interpretations, experiences, and uses. The Black Hills is rich with history for both indigenous peoples and non-indigenous inhabitants. For peoples such as the Lakota and the Northern Cheyenne, the Black Hills landscape bares witness to the birth of many things in their cultural and spiritual identities although they have been physically dispossessed from its ownership. The Black Hills cradles many sacred places for a number of Plains people and the protection and preservation of these sites is of great concern as the tourism industry continues to grow. The Black Hills, for Euro-Americans, is a place to experience the `spirit of America', through a well-developed tourism industry highlighting the natural beauty and Old West historical narratives. The landscape is thus valued in many ways and those values unavoidably clash. In the face of economic development, concerns for the preservation of the area's natural beauty have been partially delegated to state and national parks, which in turn also became aiding factors to the growth of tourism to the Black Hills. One such important place is found at Bear Butte State Park. Bear Butte State Park encompasses one of the most sacred places to the Lakota, Cheyenne, as well as numerous other tribes. The park was founded on the very basis as a place of native worship, thus attempting to preserve the natural beauty of the site through the development of cultural tourism at the expense of those who regard it as sacred ground. 2
Using Bear Butte State Park as a case study, this thesis attempts to further examine the park's history and relationship with indigenous groups, it current strategies to preserve Bear Butte in co-management with indigenous groups, and current struggles to safeguard the sacred landscape from private entrepreneurship outside of park boundaries. Through the issues presented herein, the author provides a strong case for the necessity to include, cooperate and co-manage heritage preservation and interpretation ventures with others who have a valuable place and identity within the heritage landscape. Key words: cultural landscapes, CULTURAL HERITAGE preservation, heritage studies, nature parks, national parks, state parks, nationalism, cultural tourism, social and political history, indigenous rights, Native American spirituality, Lakota, Cheyenne, Black Hills of South Dakota, Bear Butte State Park. 3
Acknowledgements I would like to extend my gratitude to the staff at Bear Butte State Park. In particular, I would like to thank, Jim Jandreau, Park Manager, for his openness and willingness to help others understand Plains Indian cultures and Bear Butte as a sacred site. I would also like to thank Tom Sanders, Site Manager of the Jeffers Petroglyphs Historic Site in Minnesota, as well as the participants of the Sacred Ground 2005 Conference, for making it possible to share their thoughts with me and enlightening my understanding of the world and its meanings. My utmost gratitude also goes to Dr. Linea Sundstrom for passionately engaging with me about the subject matter of this dissertation and providing me with a wealth of knowledge. My thanks also go to Dr. Donal Carbaugh for his interest and inspiration in this project. A great many thanks go out to my supervisor, Dr. Peter Davis, the International Museum Studies (IMS) Coordinator, Diana Walters, and of course my talented colleagues, the graduates of IMS 2006. Thank you! 4
Table of Contents Acknowledgements........................................................................................4 Introduction.................................................................................................7 Aims and objectives....................................................................................... 8 Method ....................................................................................................11 Literature..................................................................................................11 Internet.....................................................................................................12 Personal communication.................................................................................12 Conferences .............................................................................................13 The Layered Landscape...Defined? ................................................................14 Landscape, heritage and indigenous peoples.........................................................14 Heritage.................................................................................................14 Unesco Landscape .......................................................................................16 The Indigenous Landscape in America................................................................17 A concept of Sacred Landscape........................................................................19 America the Beautiful: The Making of a Nation .................................................21 The Park landscape......................................................................................22 The Ethnohistory of the Black Hills ................................................................25 The Black Hills...........................................................................................25 Bear Butte ................................................................................................25 The Lakota Sacred Landscape: Where earth meets sky .............................................26 The Political History of the Black Hills ...............................................................28 Civil Rights and the American Indian Movement ...................................................28 Great Faces, Great Places: Tourism in the Black Hills .........................................30 The Pseudo-Historical Landscape......................................................................30 Mount Rushmore .........................................................................................31 Deadwood ................................................................................................31 Native popular imagery in Black Hills Tourism .....................................................33 5
Crazy Horse Memorial ..................................................................................35 Natural attraction .......................................................................................35 Bear Butte State Park ..................................................................................37 The history of Bear Butte State Park ..................................................................37 A National Historic Landmark .........................................................................38 A Change in management Strategy ....................................................................39 Bear Butte Today ........................................................................................41 Management ..............................................................................................41 Visitor Behavior ..........................................................................................43 Wannabes and New Agers ..............................................................................44 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally ................................................................................44 Informing Visitors .......................................................................................45 The Visitor Center .......................................................................................46 Trailhead...................................................................................................47 Current Legal Battles and Community Activism ....................................................48 Framing Landscapes as a means of authenticating is value.........................................51 Conclusion................................................................................................53 Bibliography .............................................................................................56 6
Introduction Landscapes can contain cultures, histories, objects, worldviews, ideologies, and patterns of socio-economic development ­ it seems the list of what a landscape may be can go on forever as we choose to view it in the most abstract of terms. Landscapes are complexly layered, as they provide the basis in which all human life exists- physically and culturally. Therefore they can be defined in many different ways. A landscape "is never simply a natural space, a feature of the natural environment. [E]very landscape is the place where we establish our own human organization of space and time" (Jackson in Burke, Leader-Elliot and Maltby, 2004: website). Landscapes are closely linked to individual and collective identities through culture. In museological terms, landscapes are closely linked to discussions on heritage as they are framed within a constructed set of values. The layers of meanings that exist in landscapes are problematic and complicated as they become intertwined narratives. The management of these landscapes and the various narratives that exist within them is therefore also complicated. Landscapes can be assigned multiple layers of cultural interpretation as different peoples inhabit, interact with, and give meaning to the same space. The contrast between these perceptions of landscape provides the backdrop of this thesis ­ the multi-layered cultural landscape; how it is managed, interpreted, and how such interpretations co-exist. The authority and authenticity of interpreting the multi-layered cultural landscape is in fact a global issue regarding the coexistence of humankind shown by the diversity of human cultures with shared landscapes. This issue has found a place of expression within heritage studies and museology through intangible heritage preservation and landscape biodiversity projects (UNESCO, 2006: website). Heritage studies concentrate on cultural expressions within a given landscape and apply a value to it that signifies its place in a given cultural identity or even as a symbol of identity for all of humanity (Edson, 2004: 338). It is also strongly linked with history of past civilizations and cultures. Tourism often goes hand in hand with the development of heritage values and the designation of `heritage landscapes', where heritage landscapes become sources for socio-economic development through historical, cultural and natural heritage representations (Brett, 1996: 14). 7
A very potent example of such multi-layered and complex landscapes is the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Black Hills is a thriving tourist haven providing many different forms of recreation for people in passing. The Black Hills boasts of the history of the Old West, with its refurbished gold rush town of Deadwood, Custer State Park with its herd of buffalo, national symbols such as Mount Rushmore, and a rich Native American history in the region. With the summer high season, hiking, biking, fishing and camping are some of the outdoor activities for visitors. There are numerous designated monuments that feature special geological formations of interest such as the Badlands, Needles Highway and Wind Cave. There are many museums to visit and many opportunities to play with the past and imagine what the Old West was like, or how one might prefer it to have been. This landscape has a very different meaning to the Indian tribes that have lived in the area and still do. Their perceptions are greatly etched through the experience of the landscape as equal to their own existential well-being. The Lakota is the indigenous group to last lay claim to the region before their removal by the United States government to near-by reservations (Sundstrom, 1996: 177). The entire Black Hills and the surrounding area was all once part of the Lakota territory, recognized by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, until the land mass was politically eroded by government theft on numerous occasions since 1868 (Nabokov, 2006: 208). South Dakota is home to no less than nine Sioux (Lakota, Nakota, Dakota) Indian reservations across the state, with Pine Ridge neighboring the southeastern portion of the Black Hills. The Black Hills remains an important part of not only Lakota identity, but the identities of many other Plains tribes such as the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Mandan (Sundstrom, 1996: 179). Within the Black Hills is a "sacred geography" (Ibid.), one that has existed for many generations in different interpretations among Plains Indians and which has continued to exist. Some landscape features have such strong importance in the indigenous landscape that they are regularly visited for traditional ceremonies, vision quests, and private prayer. Bear Butte is such a place. It is a sacred site, and as such I have chosen it as the specific case study for this thesis. The 4,422 feet above sea level Bear Butte (Rand McNally, 2001:93) is wrongfully referred to as a butte (a flat topped topographical rise), when it is according to experts in fact a mountain. For geologists it is "an exposed remnant of an obtrusive mass of igneous material known as a laccolith" (Brown, 1999: 93), a volcano that formed millions of years ago and 8
never erupted. The mountain stands alone in the northern end of the Black Hills mountain range, just north of the town of Sturgis ­ a popular destination in August for its annual motorcycle rally. Bear Butte is also a state park, a natural landscape that opened for public enjoyment in 1962, with the purpose of emphasizing Native American cultural heritage as a tourism attraction (Brown, 1999: 97). There was however no consultancy with the tribes that hold this mountain sacred on the prospect of putting their ceremonies on ethnographic display and admitting public attendance within their house of worship (Ibid.). The dichotomy of indigenous and Euro-American interpretations of the land and its use is complicated as they are rooted within historical and contemporary perceptions and representations of landscape, agency, and authority. This thesis examines relevant themes regarding the interpretation of landscapes, how they have been defined and how they have created unique yet problematic layers of cultural identities through historical, political and economic developments over one and the same space. Aims and Objectives The multicultural layering of landscapes that can define the same physical space has caused a considerable amount of conflict over the purpose and interpretation of not only Bear Butte State Park, but a number of places throughout the world. How do culturally defined landscapes intersect, layer and inhabit the same geographical space? To explore this problem, I examine the Black Hills and look closely at Bear Butte State Park in South Dakota and its place in the historical development of designated cultural sites, explain its sacred context and present the park in terms of managing a cultural and natural landscape for preserving features of its original meaning and modern day multiple uses. Before I give a detailed account of details specific for Bear Butte, I will begin by discussing landscapes and their meanings within the cultural heritage sector, the construction of heritage, landscape importance from an indigenous perspective, and also link their relevance in breadth of a cultural perceptive. I will then give a theoretical overview of the historical development of landscape in America, its expression in national and state park creation, and its link to the dispossession of American Indian tribes. After establishing an understanding of the development of the national American landscape, I will explain the place of the Black Hills and Bear Butte in the history and worldviews of the 9
Lakota and Cheyenne people who view the area as the center of their creation as peoples (Brown, 1999: 94). This will be followed by an explanation of the political history of the landscape to exemplify the process of land removal from Lakota possession to the United States. This will in turn provide a background for the current social and economic make-up of the Black Hills today. Tourism in the Black Hills has been a driving factor in the development of the contemporary heritage landscape of the region, honing in on numerous narratives in the historical experience that are used and interpreted for economic growth. I will describe the pseudo-historical landscape through narrative examples of Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Deadwood, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I will exemplify how Plains Indian culture is adopted and interpreted within cultural tourism. I will also explain the mentality of recreational tourism. Finally, I will focus specifically on Bear Butte State Park and explain how it is a product of the type of landscape development thus far presented. I will look at the history and meaning of Bear Butte in South Dakota to illustrate the historical and current practice of managing this kind of site. I will highlight how management principles have changed in recent years in order to better accommodate multiple landscape interpretation. I will give an overview of its management history and its current management. I will also identify key principles in how the park attempts to manage and balance the needs of many different kinds of visitors. Through the above outlined chapters, I hope to provide an understanding and a critique of current heritage themes through providing an understanding of landscape diversity. Through exploring the history of different landscape narratives and worldviews found in the United States, I will create a theme in which to reflect upon during my description and analysis of Bear Butte State Park. From this analysis, I will then redefine and restate the issues explored within this dissertation. I hope to raise questions regarding the importance of evaluating the purpose and means in which we in the culture sector preserve and create places of preservation and interpretation. I also hope to inform others within museums and landscapes management of the importance of real consultation with stakeholders and to give an understanding of the kinds of issues that may be of importance. In summary: 10
Aim To explore landscape representation and preservation of cultural sites, focusing on Bear Butte State Park. My objectives are: · To investigate the meaning of `landscape' in a broad application and specifically to native and non-native people. · To investigate how parks deal with questions of `ownership', access and democratic governance of sacred landscapes. · To explore the purpose of Bear Butte State Park within the context of state parks and landscape management in the U.S. in general. · To explore and explain the relationship between U.S. parks systems and its indigenous stakeholders. Method The research for this paper is limited within time and by geographic constraints. In order to present more in-depth findings, a greater time allotment would be necessary, as a larger concentration of field research could be desired. In such a manner, the Black Hills and Bear Butte could be experienced and observed over the summer tourist season and through personal interviews with native and non-native visitors would provide a more qualitative ethnographic result. However, previous visits to the area, knowledge of indigenous issues from previous academic work, and a strong base in the following reSearch methods provide sufficient information for the purpose of this dissertation. Literature I will strongly rely on literature studies regarding issues of landscape, tourism and museum interpretation to build my theoretical approach to the subject. I will also rely on ethnohistorical studies and articles that focus specifically on Bear Butte, the Black Hills and the American parks landscape. Furthermore, newspaper articles and journals will provide recent information on the development surrounding my research topic. This can provide my research with the essence of its importance as an issue of current concern and conflict for developing museum practices and heritage landscape management. 11
Internet Internet searches will be conducted for reviewing activism and debates regarding Bear Butte and landscape interpretation and to illustrate the continuing interpretational tensions within the Black Hills landscape. There are a number of activist organizations (tribal, inter-tribal, and international) that focus on protecting the Black Hills and Bear Butte for their spiritual and indigenous values. Also, there are a number of daily news sources that monitor current issues that develop regarding the preservation of Bear Butte. Furthermore, there are a number of web pages surrounding this research subject that provide helpful insight into the marketing of cultural landscapes and the development of heritage as a lure for tourism. Sites such as the South Dakota Department of Tourism, the Department of Parks and Recreation, National Parks Service, and individual web pages for area attractions provide a landscape of `virtual billboards' so to speak. Billboards have visual and literal presentations valuable for analyzing the layered landscape. Personal Communication Research material will also, to some degree, be provided by personal communication with directly involved individuals through previous personal meetings or email correspondence. I have visited the Black Hills and nearly all monumental places mentioned within this thesis in my capacity as a young, white middle-class male, where the problems and issues tackled here have become evident to me over time. This insight provides me with a conviction to examine the possible causes for the way the landscape has developed in its meanings. I shall primarily refer to my first and more purposeful (research-based) visit to Bear Butte in September 2005 to describe the site from first hand experience, having hiked to the summit, visited the visitor center and discussed issues of native use of the site for private worship juxtaposed to public recreation, and the clashes between these issues. This first hand experience provides a complementary source of qualitative data that allows me to create an image of the layout of the park, its location and its use. I had the opportunity of an informal discussion with one Lakota staff member during my visit, where I began to formulate a number of my inquiries into this research project. During my visit, I also did a partial documentation of the site with digital photographs, some of which I will use to illustrate in my description of the park. Upon taking on this topic, I have had email correspondence with Park Manager, Jim Jandreau, who has been very helpful in answering questions regarding management of the site. I have also 12
conducted inquiries into management policies and visitor surveys through email contact with the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Tourism in South Dakota. Conferences Recently there have been two relevant conferences relating to the issues discussed here. Firstly, the Plains Indian Seminar in Cody, Wyoming in September 2005 with the title "Native Land and the People of the Great Plains" provided a variety of landscape perspectives regarding people of the Plains. Of particular interest for this dissertation was a presentation by Dr. Linea Sundstrom on her archaeological work on the Black Hills and ethnohistory of Plains Indian sacred geography. I have also communicated with Dr. Sundstrom through email about this topic. Also of interest here was a presentation by Dr. Donal Carbaugh on cultural tourism in Glacier National Park and the representation of the Blackfeet tribe, which provided me with concepts to formulate my inquiry upon. Secondly, the Sacred Ground Forum in March 2005 at the Jeffers Petroglyphs Historic Site in Minnesota has been available to me in unedited form on DVD where a number of key native speakers discussed issues regarding what is sacred, what their understanding of the land is and their experiences from working with non-natives (mostly from archaeology backgrounds) to explain those views in order to protect indigenous landscapes such as burial mounds and worship sites. I will only refer to the conference and its issues in general as the purpose of the conference was not to give literal quotes by its speakers, but to present problems at hand in land development issues regarding understanding native landscapes. 13
The Layered Landscape... Defined? Landscape, Heritage, and Indigenous Peoples In order to illustrate the diversity of interpreting cultural landscapes, it is important to understand the imbedded meanings that may or may not be visible within the frames and patterns of the construction of a landscape. "In landscapes, nature and culture are complementary, and cultural identity is strongly related to the natural environment in which it undoubtedly develops" (Marafa, 2003: 311). Therefore, landscape reflects the cultural values of those who interpret it and shape it through environment. Furthermore, the cultural landscape is a landscape shaped by "cultural expression that does not happen by chance but is created informally or by design" (Burke, Leader-Elliot and Maltby, 2004: website). This I believe is a key concept in understanding how cultures may interact with each other by choice or chance, whether in conflict or cooperation through determining a dominant cultural narrative through interpretation and representation of overlapping landscapes or landscape identities. Heritage Within museum studies we find that landscapes can be closely linked with the concept of heritage. Heritage is often regarded here as something categorically defined for a collective identity, focusing on values that link the past with the present, and the present with the future by preserving particular values through chosen narratives (Edson, 2004: 333). The term heritage is used as recognition of cultural and natural resources in their relations to humankind with the purpose of preserving those values for future generations (Alpin, 2002:13). Thus, landscape is the place or space of cultural activity and expression. Heritage also becomes a commodity in its preservation, which is manifested and exploited throughout the world (Edson, 2004: 334). Landscape can thus be an ingredient for the construction and commodity of heritage, and a focal point for its system of management, as a "[l]andscape can also be viewed as a place of cultural exchange, a site at which practices and processes of cultural exchange become forms of cultural heritage" (Burke, Leader-Elliot and Maltby, 2004: website). The idea of managing a landscape for its value as heritage, forms landscapes into packaged products, to preserve and to market. Heritage in its relation to 14
landscape may be an all encompassing definition for cultural expression, whether tangible or intangible; it is yet a conceptual layer of a landscape in question. Heritage as a concept within the culture sector is a product of a culture itself. As a landscape reflects cultural values of those who interpret or identify with it, the concept of heritage then identifies those cultural values of a landscape and presents them as a value in itself. "[T]he distinction between myth and history [heritage] has become an increasing problem for western societies throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as scholars have become increasingly aware of the ways in which actual events can be interpreted to produce different meanings for different people"(Eliade in Edson, 2004: 333). With heritage as a value, it can be adopted by a larger cultural collective and manipulated, such as through nationalism in a multicultural society where ethnic heritage becomes a product for the greater collective. When reviewing Aplin's discussion on defining heritage, and Burke, Leader-Elliot and Maltby's discussion on cultural landscapes, the language of definition is very similar. The authors engage in their discussions foremost from the Australian example, calling attention to three main ingredients in landscape and heritage (outlined in Aplin, 2002:1).The three categories are natural, cultural and indigenous. Aplin (Ibid.) recognizes indigenous heritage as a special subcategory of cultural heritage in Australia (rather than as entirely separate), yet valuable to highlight upon reflection of the history of colonialism. "[T]he definition of heritage in any particular country depends on local historical, social, and cultural circumstances. Within any one nation the `official' or `accepted' definition is frequently that of the further manifestation of the group's dominance in politics and national debate" (Aplin, 2002: 14). Heritage in Australia is thus a tool for building a national identity through valuing particular narratives within the frame of the nation-state. Burke, Leader-Elliot and Maltby (2004: website) also recognize an imbalance in landscape identity in Australia. "Places of contemporary social significance are part and parcel of how indigenous people construct their social identities today, but are also intimately linked to longer term patterns of maintaining social identity. Overlaid on this, however are the repercussions brought about by contact with Europeans, who placed very different cultural values on the same physical landscape". 15
There are global similarities here regarding the ways in which colonial and indigenous cultures have historically interacted. This interaction has become a basis for heritage construction for a collective definition and value system of a nation. The commodity of those layered meanings in landscapes becomes the basis for heritage through "not the facts in which the world abounds, but the myths of an immemorial imagination" (Campbell in Edson, 2004: 334). The same patterns of heritage development that parallel the layering and intersecting of cultural landscapes are also outlined through UNESCO's definition of cultural landscapes under the heading of World Heritage. The UNESCO landscape UNESCO states that cultural landscapes embrace "a diversity of manifestations of the interaction between humankind and its natural environment" (UNESCO, 2006: website). UNESCO takes on a categorical approach and defines cultural landscapes with the purpose of assigning values for heritage preservation to simplify the complexities of the continual coexisting layers of cultural meanings in landscapes. UNESCO (2006: website) has defined landscapes into three categories: - Landscape designed/created intentionally by humankind - Organically evolved landscape - Associative cultural landscape First, landscapes designed/created intentionally refers to aesthetically constructed gardens and parks, which are "often (but not always) associated with religious or other monumental buildings and ensembles" (UNESCO, 2006: website). Second, organically evolved landscapes refer to "social, economic, administrative, and/or religious imperative[s]" developing a landscape by association and in response to the natural surroundings. This in turn is split into two sub-categories relating to discontinued, or "relict" yet still visible cultural landscapes, and continuing "evolutionary" landscapes. Third, the associative cultural landscape is considered valuable through landscapes created by "religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural element rather than material cultural evidence, which may be insignificant or even absent" (UNESCO, 2006: website). The indigenous human landscape of the United States in all reality can be found in all three of these categories, which I believe will prove evident in the remains of this chapter. 16
The Indigenous Landscape in America The indigenous landscape in North America in its relation to heritage development mirrors that of the Australian example above as American Indians also adhere to an indigenous interpretation of a landscape that has been `minoritized' as a footnote in the national consciousness of heritage identity. Yet the indigenous cultures of North America have inhabited and interpreted the landscape for thousands of years. They too have left their marks on the land, creating unique relationships with the land as a source for food, shelter, transportation and spirituality. This is still true today and the cultural layers on the American landscape are many through memories, monuments, subsistence methods and spirituality. In fact the very word landscape seems to embody cultural interpretation. This will be examined in the next chapter. The indigenous cultural landscape exists in many fashions. It is both historical and presentday as it intersects with non-native cultural landscapes. It is also not one single landscape, but several, just as there are numerous indigenous cultures. American Indian cultures exist in the urban setting of skyscrapers, boroughs, and residential housing. They also exist in rural settings, villages along highways, farms, ranches, within historical homeland territories, and within politically defined reservation borders. Homeland territories and reservation lands are often places of deeply rooted cultural identity for Native Americans who live there or historically come from such areas as the stories of their lifeways are reflected through that land (Sundstrom, 2005). The landscape is carried on within the hearts and minds of generations that keep that connection alive through the continuity of oral traditions and generational learning (Gunderson and Robertson, 2003: website). Cultural identity can make landscapes exist beyond political borders and conceptions of a framed categorical identity. For example tribal territories often exist beyond state or country borders as those territories existed before nation-states. In city settings, such as in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the local Native community (a mix of many tribal adherences yet mainly Ojibwe and Dakota) has identified their urban landscape as "Little Earth" in an attempt to provide certain native cultural values into a collective micro-environment (Little Earth Organization, 2006: website). Little Earth began as a government induced artificial landscape originally designed to provide housing for urban native residents. After a time of economic instability and less than adequate building standards, Little Earth functions more today on a cooperative basis (Little Earth Organization, 2006: website) reflecting similar 17
modern tribal administrations in social and economic development. Yet it is often within the reservation borders that Indian people today are considered and identified with in the minds of non-Indians, which often limits perceptions of the living American Indian cultural landscape. There also exists the historical Plains Indian landscape, which is often pitted against or paralleled with the historical Euro-American landscape, such as the Wild West, famous battle grounds, and the expedition encounters of Lewis & Clark in the first decade of the 19th century. Furthermore, there is the "pre-historical" native landscape, if I may be allowed to be ethnocentric in my expression for the sake of clarity. This is expressed in the forms of rock carvings and paintings, burial mounds, cairns, ancient dwellings, and rock formations. They are considered evidence of a rich human history across the landscape of the United States. They have in the past rarely been considered for having continuity in meaning for native people today, but more as places of archaeological investigation ­ studying a culture that no longer exists. This has however begun to change as landscape management and ethics policies have begun to incorporate the knowledge of indigenous stakeholders. An example of a site which has begun to incorporate the knowledge of indigenous stakeholders is the Jeffers Petroglyphs site in southwestern Minnesota, run by the Minnesota Historical Society. It has in recent years changed the perceptions of the landscape it manages and its meaning by incorporating and understanding the site's meaning for tribes today. At Jeffers, past misunderstandings and current practices of landscape representation are recognized by a ceremonial use policy stating among other things: "A ceremonial use policy for the Jeffers Petroglyphs historic site is necessary because of the increasing awareness among American Indians and EuroAmericans of the full sacred nature of the site. Although many traditional practioners of American Indian spirituality have always known the sacred nature of the site's carvings, the contemporary general American Indian and Euro-American populations have only recently began to acquire this understanding of the site" (Jeffers Petroglyphs State Historic Site, Ceremonial Use Policy, 2005). This in turn allows for a multiple interpretation of the layered landscape. I will come back to these management values later when discussing current practices at Bear Butte State Park. 18
A Concept of `Sacred Landscape' Despite categorizing indigenous landscapes as historical, pre-historical, or living landscapes, a vital ingredient for non-Indians to understand about Indian landscapes is what is sacred. Or, perhaps what is meant by sacred. It is difficult for non-Indians to grasp traditional Indian concepts of sacred. Traditional Indian concepts of sacredness are rooted in the cultural experience of growing up with specific cultural values and worldviews that mediate a concept or experience of sacredness. For Euro-Americans, traditional indigenous concepts of sacredness, as explained by scholars, are expected as something measurable or categorical in order to understand. This topic was discussed at length among a panel of selected Lakota, Dakota, Cheyenne, Kiowa and Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) men with important roles in their communities as spiritual leaders, politicians, and cultural resource managers at the Sacred Ground Forum at the Jeffers Petroglyphs site in Minnesota, March 2005. Many participants expressed (yet no one expressed it in the same way) that they do not know how to define what is sacred. Yet, they know what is sacred to them, and that this perception is not static. It is something that cannot be categorized, but defined within the self by opening up one's heart, listening to what is around, and trusting one's feelings and intellectual perceptions revealed to them through the landscape experience and through spiritual guidance (Author's synopsis). Perhaps what is most problematic with understanding this perception is the English word "sacred". A number of references were made at the Sacred Ground Forum to the inability to really understand "sacred" as a justifiable word for what may be used in indigenous languages, such as Wakan (Mystery) among the Sioux speakers at the forum. Many times, participants opted to use their own languages when referring to what is sacred. Anthropologist Tim Ingold (2006: 10) has attempted to grasp the concept of sacred within what he refers to as cultures of animistic tradition, where "people do not universally discriminate between the categories of living and non-living things". Furthermore, animism "does not emanate from a world that already exists, populated by objects-as-such, but is rather immanent in the very process of that world's continual generation or coming-into-being" (Ingold, 2006:10). Ingold expands upon animism as being misconceived in two ways that have discredited animistic understanding of the world, or landscapes. "First, we are dealing here not with a way of believing about the world but with a condition of being in it" (Ingold, 2006: 10). In other words, animism is an active experience of participating in a constant and unpredictable environment and not a product of imaginative perspectives projected into the landscape. 19
Ingold's second point further explains that, "the dynamic, transformative potential of the entire field of relations within which beings of all kinds, more or less person-like or thinglike, continually and reciprocally bring one another into existence" (Ingold, 2006:10). Neither, then is such an integrated state of being in the world, limited to one particular landscape, but relates to a continuous link of landscape features. This issue is of great importance surrounding the preservation and interpretation of sacred sites such as Bear Butte. I will return to this later in chapter six. The variation of environment and life forms, whether natural or supernatural live and survive in dependence upon each other and in certain instances some life forms (whether natural or supernatural) interact for exactly such purposes, providing definition and accountability for each other. Thus, a "sacred" action or place comes into being. Animist cultures understand landscapes by living through the land rather than upon it (Ingold, 2006: 14). To elaborate, Ingold relates that the relationship is not "between one thing and another ­ between the organism `here' and the environment `there'. It is rather a trail along which life is lived: one strand in a tissue of trails that together make up the texture of the lifeworld" (Ingold, 2006:13). Importantly, neither does the landscape or environment contain this texture ­ this growth of paths, as they are integrated into understanding the concept of being in the world. Among the Lakota, for example, the sacred landscape goes beyond Bear Butte and the Black Hills as it is also represented in the sky and among the stars. Bear Butte and the Black Hills are yet important points where the interwoven trails of metaphorical tissue of natural and supernatural beings is well knitted- they are the center for all creation. The sacred geography of the Lakota and the Black Hills will be briefly explained in chapter four. I have thus far tried to present a view of the cultural landscape as embodying all space where human activity thrives (or thrived), shapes, interprets and cultivates a collective environment in which to live. Landscape can be defined as concrete and physical, but also as abstract and metaphysical. By understanding not one cultural landscape, but the many layers that exist, perhaps a more innovative process of landscape management can be achieved. Yet before I can examine current developments of landscape management in the Black Hills region, it is important to reflect further upon landscape as a concept of nationalism. 20
"America the Beautiful": The Making of a Nation "National identity is always contested, of course, but the genius of landscape is to obscure that fact." (Mitchell, 2002 : 385) As thus far illustrated, landscapes are not easily defined. Landscape in the broadest definition, appears to be synonymous and just as difficult to define as `culture'. "Landscape thus emerges as a cultural process" (Hirsch, 1995: 5). Culture is dynamic and always changing. Landscape is then apparently not only a collective perception, but very much present as an entity within each individual being. Thus, leading to what could perhaps be very problematic for categorizing cultural landscapes specifically for preservation when they contain so many layers of interwoven cultural identities and personal experiences. However, if we go to the root of the concept of landscape as an environment or natural space in which human activity exists, we can begin to understand how the American landscape was formed through the creation of national and state parks. For now, we may consider landscapes as framing a portion of a "wilderness", a portion of an ecosystem, and whatever it may contain. We can view landscapes as paintings, as something fathomable within boundaries and not as omnipresent and incomprehensible as the vastness of the universe. We can in fact `museify' landscapes in order to make them comprehendible. Here we make a difference between landscape as a place of human interactions concerning everyday life, history, object, worldview and that of landscapes designed to frame particular lifeways, histories and objects for recreation, education, preservation and exhibit. In fact, by framing a portion of the ecosystem of the earth, we are creating a landscape within a greater landscape. It becomes an ecosystem encompassed by a larger ecosystem. The United States has many of these kinds of `landscapes within' often recognized as public spaces such as national and state parks that encompass designated natural landscapes. State and National Parks in the United States are designated public landscapes. They are places of recreation in the midst of natural beauty; they are places of national identity and abstract symbols of patriotism (Tuan in Miller, 1992: 207). They are places that provide opportunities for visitors to reconnect with nature, or to re-conquer it, something I will return to later in this thesis. 21
To understand the place of state and national parks in the United States, it is important to understand the origin of the idea of landscape. From the early 17th century in Europe, landscape referred to a utopian and aesthetic representation of place that exists in imagination, a romanticized understanding of history, community or of places beyond reach of everyday life (Miller, 1992: 207). In America during the 19th century, landscape became well associated with artists, who painted the "imagined community" (Miller, 1992: 207) by depicting natural landscapes and places that "carried national associations" (Miller, 1992: 207). These landscape paintings were cultivated to cater to a buying audience, and therewith identified with "specific class identities" (Miller, 1992:207). Artists "sought a formula with which to balance the demands of place-specific landscapes with those of national meaning" (Miller, 1992: 208). Places of natural wonder or discovery, or places of important congregations and battlefields are all ingredients that contributed to framing the landscape for American memory narrated by the brushes and pens of painters and writers. Often, these places were the backdrop for social and technological changes that advanced unity among the people, remolding place to "the historical imperatives of the new democracy" (Miller, 1992: 209). As the United States expanded its territory west, the geographical diversity of its landscape also changed to the unfamiliar. The years following the Civil War, when national identity was in crisis, "the far West became the focus of an effort to revive the ideal of the national landscape as the source of collective meanings" (Miller, 1992: 220). Thus, the hemispherical diversity of natural land formations spread across the vastness of the nation, such as "majestic" mountain ranges, "fruited plains", canyons, forests, lakes and wildlife all became elements of local identities mythologized into national expression. These landscapes, still in forms of artistic expression and catering to a literate elite, shifted from previous expressions. These often depicted the landscape as wilderness, free from human existence. The Park Landscape Landscapes as utopian images merged into a public opportunity for subjective expression when the creation of wilderness parks arrived. Yellowstone National Park emerged as the first wilderness park in 1872 "as a public or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" (Jackson, 1994: 86). One key concept that helped shape American parks is that of open green spaces, available for the general public to enjoy for recreation (Landrum, 2003:6). Another factor for the development of parks was the need to preserve wilderness treasures as 22
national symbols. On the one hand, America was striving for unity through landscape expression, and on the other hand, according to Landrum (2003:9), there was a growing concern to preserve the once seemingly inexhaustible resources that had quickly diminished due to rapid industrialization. National parks became places where members of the financially capable public, who could afford to travel into the interior, could experience the utopian nation for themselves. Even today, the current slogan for the National Parks Service stated boldly on their web page, "Experience Your America" (National Parks Service, 2006: website). State parks provided alternatives for traveling great distances (Landrum, 2003: 9), where national pride could be provided through local landscape patriotism. Another shift from the canvas to the subjective experience of the national landscape, was the preservation of historic memory within national and state parks preservation systems. Just as painters and writers depicted historical places and landscapes of social progression, the National Parks Service also incorporated monumental landscapes such as battlefields, homesteads, ancient dwellings or burial mounds, industrial districts and other places of historic memory that contribute to notions of nation-building (National Parks Service, 2006). Indeed, the wilderness park was providing the opportunity for the Euro-American population to gather momentum once again behind a national identity, which could be found through a nearly spiritual and directly personal experience rather than from the view of a canvas. Wilderness tourism and preservation began to grow in the West. Many state and national parks were created surrounding distinct natural features, places that indigenous peoples have visited, lived at, hunted at, charted their cosmologies through and worshiped at for generations. In fact, "the creation and canonization of certain `sacred places'-tourist attractions such as Yosemite [National Park] ­ went hand in glove with Indian removal" (Miller, 1992: 220). With preservation on national and state agendas, this meant controlled human access to recreational places. Nature was to exist separately from humans, and therefore the experience of wilderness parks was to be that of an empty oasis where visitors and park employees were only temporarily in its presence. "In government parlance a wilderness is a large tract of land left in its original uninhabited condition" (Jackson, 1994: 86). Nature was to be experienced 23
after government's own fashion and this has changed very little today. Common features for regulating human interaction of state and national parks are fees for entrance, infrastructure such as roads and footpaths to help guide visitors (in particular within popular destinations) by increasing accessibility and also by limiting human impact on "off-trail" areas. In most instances this has also restricted Native Americans in their traditions of gathering, hunting and traveling to traditional homelands and in their free ability to worship. In some instances the preservation of cultural and historical landscapes, such restrictions for adhering tribal members could be overseen for the benefit of a park's purpose where the indigenous cultural identity could be seen as an opportunity for tourism. This experience is documented in the history of Bear Butte State Park in South Dakota as well and will be examined in chapter six. The historical exclusion of Native people in the management of indigenous landscapes are reflected in today's attempts to rectify past mistakes. There is a growing interest in the implementation of park use policies geared towards indigenous use and this will also be examined in chapter six. As I have thus far illustrated, the creation of state and national parks is closely linked with the creation of a social consciousness of national identity. Through the ideals of preserving wilderness landscapes, Native American people has been pushed aside and left out of the process of the management of their landscapes. In the next chapter, I will provide examples of the political and historical relations between native people and the United States government, which ultimately lead to the indigenous dispossession of landscapes. I will exemplify these relationships through a brief ethnohistorical description of the Black Hills, which will provide a foundation for understanding how this particular landscape grew to become a commodity for Euro-American culture today. 24
The Ethnohistory of the Black Hills The Black Hills For thirteen thousand years (Nabokov, 2006: 207), the Black Hills has proven to be an important part for tribal development of lifeways and sustainability, providing fruitful hunting grounds and places of spiritual fulfillment. "In this small orb thousands of archaeological sites testify to the Hills as a magnet for subsistence and spiritual activities ­ the remnants of ancient campfires, surrounds for corralling game, locations for butchering meat, circles for ceremonies and carvings and paintings on stone" (Nabokov, 2006: 207). For many indigenous groups that have lived through this landscape, it has become "sacred geography" (Sundstrom, 1996), a place of collective existence and identity. This sacred geography is not only revealed through archaeological evidence, but also in modern historical references and oral traditions of indigenous groups that view the Black Hills as a part of their homelands (Sundstrom, 1996: 178-179). Bear Butte For many Plains Indian tribes, Bear Butte is a place of great spiritual significance within the Black Hills sacred landscape. The visitor center provides a brochure stating "for over 4,000 years and into the present day Bear Butte has been a sacred destination for the people of many tribes". "[I]t reigned as `the place among power places'" (Nabokov, 2006: 218). The tribes who identify Bear Butte as a prominent part of their spiritual geography are the Lakota, the Cheyenne (Tsistsistas), Arapaho, Mandan, Kiowa, and Kiowa-Apache (Sundstrom: 1996:185). Bear Butte is a place where people can communicate directly with the creator and make offerings for spirit helpers. To tribes like the Cheyenne and Lakota, Bear Butte's survival is directly linked with their own. For the Cheyenne, Bear Butte is called Nowah'wus, "the sacred mountain where people are taught" and is "the most sacred location in the traditional Cheyenne belief system" (Sundstrom, 1996:182). It is here where, a long time ago, the spiritual leader, Sweet Medicine, was taught by spirit-beings healing powers and the Massaum ceremony, connected to the skills and rites of the buffalo hunt that gave the Cheyenne an identity as a people (Nabokov, 2006:218) and authored their existence. "Every Cheyenne acknowledged the sacred mountain as their birthplace; all considered themselves its descendants and custodians" (Ibid.). 25
The Lakota Sacred Landscape: Where earth meets sky The Lakota are the dominant group of Siouan cousins (Lakota, Nakota and Dakota) in the Black Hills region today. The Lakota bands were the most recent of indigenous groups to inhabit the Black Hills (from ca 1775-1876) (Sundstrom, 1996: 179) and many Lakota reservations are located within the vicinity of the Black Hills (i.e. Western South Dakota). Bear Butte gets its name from the Lakota term, Mato Paha, Bear Mountain. The Lakota, having arrived in the Black Hills in the 18th century, quickly found Bear Mountain to be "inhabited by their spirit world" (Nabokov, 2006:219). It is at this mountain, that "a primordial monster fought a great bear, who licked its wounds until it convulsed, expired and became the hill" (Ibid.). Nabokov (Ibid.) explains further the significance of Bear Butte to the Lakota as a place where "mysterious childlike beings made it their home, and eagles circled its summit". As ancient and important as Bear Butte is, it is but one feature within the spiritual geography of the Lakota people. This is also true for other Plains tribes that hold Bear Butte sacred. The Lakota geography is connected to the world of the stars, or "star nation" (Defend Bear Butte, 2006: website), the constellation narratives that tell the relation between earth, sky and all life within it- the existential truth of the Lakota as a people. The star nation is mirrored by landscape features within the Black Hills region, where each constellation and related story has a corresponding point in the geographic landscape (Sundstrom, 1996: 179). Among these corresponding features are Bear Butte, Bear Lodge (known by non-Indians as Devil's Tower) which lies west of Bear Butte in Wyoming, Inyan Kara to the southwest of Bear Butte, Harney Peak, the highest point in the Black Hills, and the Race Track, "a valley like feature" (Sundstrom, 1996: 180) that forms a ring around the Black Hills (Sundstrom, 1996:185). According to Sundstrom (Personal communication, 2006), Ronald Goodman's recent accounts on Lakota constellations (Lakota Star Knowledge, 1992) link the formation of a buffalo skull as a constellation across the land with Bear Lodge and Inyan Kara as its horns and Bear Butte as the nose. Although Sundstrom is unsure of the age of this story, it none the less shows at least a continual importance of the geography of the Black Hills in contemporary life and stories of Indian people. The buffalo is an important life source for 26
many Plains Indians and an important part of Lakota and Cheyenne cultural identity. This illustrates the continuity in the interconnectedness of earth and sky as considered one and the same landscape, and the creatures that dwell in them as being created from one and the same source. The concept is even referred to among Lakota as "Sacred Above Is Sacred Below" (Defend Bear Butte, 2006: website). Figure 1. Map of Black Hills with prominent sacred sites. (Map reproduced from Sundstrom, 1996: 178). 27
The Political History of the Black Hills White expansion westward across the Plains during the 19th century and the hostile conflicts that resulted, eventually became cause for territorial recognition through treaties. The entire Black Hills, including Bear Butte, was recognized by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the United States and the Lakota to be the sovereign territory of the Lakota Nation, encompassing sixty-million acres (Nabokov, 2006: 208). Yet, settlers continued to encroach upon the territory of the Lakota and their allies, and hostilities continued (Nabokov, 2006: 208). The United States wanted to create a new treaty in order to lay claim to the lands already encroached upon by its citizens. After failing to gain support among the Lakota leaders for a land base reduction, the government forced upon them a new treaty in 1868 reducing the land to twenty-six million acres (Nabokov, 2006: 208). Then, once gold had been confirmed in the hills, the new Treaty of 1877 (following the year of the Battle of Little Bighorn), forcefully opened up Lakota territory for good (, 2006: website). The Lakota still recognize and honor the 1851 treaty today and have never agreed to the dissolve of their lands or the treaties that followed. The years of military confrontations between the Sioux and the United States culminated with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation located adjacent to the Black Hills. Even after this, the Lakota and many other tribes continued to fight for recognition of what little claims they seemed to have left. Some thirty years later, a case was filed with the U.S. Court of Claims to recover the Black Hills (Nabokov, 2006: 209). In 1946, the Indian Claims Commission (ICC) was established to deal with indigenous land issues that had been bulldozed by the rapid agricultural and industrial development of the United States. In 1950, the ICC "determined that the 1877 Black Hills settlement was indeed a `dishonorable chapter' in Indian-white relations and pushed for a cash settlement" (Nabokov, 2006: 209). Civil Rights and the American Indian Movement In the rise of the civil rights movement in the 1960's in the U.S., Native Americans were organizing relatively small scale protests against their violated rights (Matthiessen, 1991: 35). Traumatic experiences with missionaries, bans on native languages, the oppression of 28
traditional ceremonies, the destruction of native subsistence methods, the forced removal of children to boarding schools, land allotment of reservations to individual Indian families (Matthiessen, 1991: 21), and sterilization programs for native women (Mathiessen, 1991: 422) are all examples of the injustices that plagued Native American people for generations at the hand of the U.S. Government. Indians across the country were now mobilizing against the dispossession of their cultural landscapes, their dire situation of poverty, high unemployment, and generations of oppression. The American Indian Movement (AIM) was the first modern day intertribal organization to take to drastic measures to call attention to Native injustice (AIM, 2006: website and Matthiessen, 1991:31). Events such as the November 1969 ­ June 1971 occupation of the former prison island Alcatraz in California (an event that contributed to the official formation of AIM) (Wikapedia, 2006: website) and the armed occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973, called attention to native rights nationally and internationally (Matthiessen, 1991: 37). Paralleling civil rights events in the 1960's, both the Johnson and Nixon administrations developed their political relations with American Indian tribes by "advocating self-determination" (Matthiessen, 1991: 53) through restoration of federal tribal status for some groups (Ibid). Both occupations can be considered signs of the desperation of the people and their need to have their voices heard. The issue of the land theft in the Black Hills bubbled to the surface once more, where the U.S. finally decided to pursue a symbolical monetary settlement in 1978 for 105 million dollars (Nabokov, 2006:209). The Lakota refused the money and the settlement on the basis that "the sacred Black Hills are not for sale" (Sundstrom, 1996: 177). This powerful statement illustrates once again the connection and value the people have for their land. This sacred landscape is deeply imbedded in Lakota culture and lifeways and has shown continuity in the relationship between Lakota lifeways and the land. 29
"Great Faces, Great Places": Tourism in the Black Hills "It was as if the Black Hills became some giant piece of cultural luggage plastered with decals from every major narrative of American triumphalism and religious nationalism. A new visitor to the Hills might suspect that nowhere else was the United States so shaky about its tenure to a particular habitat, so crowded had these overlays grown, as if to cover up its illegal takeover in the first place." (Nabokov, 2006: 210) The Pseudo-Historical Landscape Today's make-up of the Black Hills region is a quite different cultural landscape as it is layered with Euro-Americana ideologies of historical and modern day entrepreneurship. The Black Hills is the hot spot for tourism in South Dakota. It is a place where the Wild West can come to life in the pseudo-historical narratives of landscape. Everywhere you go, you are reminded of the Western tales that have been told and the countless Hollywood films made to tickle the imagination and envision the Wild West, to capture the Western mentality. EuroAmerican history is seemingly more prominent than the 14,000 years of Native history (Sundstrom, 2005) as popular legends and images of white settlers such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Poker Face Alice, and Potato Creek Johnny are readily consumed. As Nabokov ponders in the opening quote for this chapter, the white-washing (pun intended) of the West seems to give remedy to the otherwise overwhelmingly brutal history of EuroAmerican interaction with Plains Indian people. As I referred to in the methods section of this thesis, the virtual billboards of Black Hills tourism on the Internet provides insight into the kind of mentality that the tourism industry sets for its visitors and also reflects visitor expectation. For instance, the opening webpage for South Dakota Tourism states: 30
"SOUTH DAKOTA. The Land of Great Faces and Great Places. What is the Spirit of America? It's magnificent scenery and breathtaking beauty. Crystal clear waters and bright blue skies. It's history and legendary characters like Wild Bill Hickok and calamity Jane. It's modern-day adventure that lets you roam among the buffalo in Custer State Park or explore the moon-like surfaces of Badlands National Park. The spirit of America is what dares us to dream and moves us to carve mountains." (South Dakota Tourism)
This is presented under a banner of a scenic landscape photo of one of the attractions of South Dakota. Additional phrases on this page such as "capture the spirit", "feel it as you visit" and "explore" further contribute to a sublime experience. "So what is the spirit of America? Come to South Dakota and discover it for yourself." South Dakota projects itself through Western Romanticism as the heart and soul of America. Statements such as "dare to dream" illustrate the collective `we the people' language that allows Americans to etch a collective soul ­ a national identity into the Black Hills for eternity through the making of Mount Rushmore.
Mt. Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore, (Fig.2) this mountain of
men, stands in the heart of the Black Hills
with its four presidential portraits carved
into the mountain instilling pride in many
American's hearts and souls, while
symbolizing occupation, deceit and
disparagement for many Native people
who have a different understanding of the
history of the landscape (Matthiessen,
(Fig. 2) Mt. Rushmore. (Photo by South Dakota Tourism, 2006).
1991:26). Mount Rushmore, known as "the nation's shrine to democracy" (Melmer, 2004)
and receives four million visitors each year (Ibid.) was dedicated in 1927 by president
Coolidge with the words, "The union of these four presidents carved on the face of the
everlasting hills of South Dakota will contribute a distinctly national monument. It will be
decidedly American in its conception in its magnitude and altogether worthy of our country"
(in Matthiessen, 1991:26).
Deadwood "Deadwood puts you and your family in the middle of history. The entire city of Deadwood is a national historic landmark. Authentic re-creation of turn-ofthe-century street lamps light the way through accurately, carefully restored architecture. The famous and infamous have left their marks here. Follow their footsteps as you explore the beauty and history of this one-of-a-kind Wild West town." (Deadwood city website, 2006)
Thus begins the town of Deadwood's introduction to THE MODERN WORLD. On the city's
webpage it claims Deadwood is the nation's largest preservation effort under its registration
as a national historic landmark. The history of Deadwood is brief on the web. It begins with a
photo (Fig. 3) of a group of people representing gold prospectors, buffalo hunters and
representatives of both sides of the Battle of Little Big Horn, as if to have made peace with
that part of history in one single `photo opportunity' in 1927. Then, the story launches into
Deadwoods incorporation in 1876, the reason for its name (from the dead trees in the gulch it
was built in), the first telephone connection
and its cost and how it was celebrated. Then
there are three pictures of the famous historical
figures that are associated with the town, Wild
Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and Wyatt Earp.
Following the photos is a summary of industry
Fig. 3. (Photo:
of importance to the town including gold, timber and tourism.
The city lies in the northern end of the Black Hills and is today is a destination for many tourists boasting of around 2 million visitors a year ( The city in essence survives because of tourism based on its historical narrative of the Old West (Fig.4). "[A]t many heritage sites a reconstruction offers the opportunity to step back in time and experience what life was really like, there must always be a selective portrayal of events and histories that are tailored to reflect the tastes of the modern visitor" (Rowan, 2004: 260). The taste of the modern visitor in this case is evidently gambling. The city is unique in South Dakota as it enjoys special gaming compacts with the state generating some $746,228.93 tax dollars1 for
1 Eight percent gaming tax on the adjusted gross proceeds of gaming allowed by SDCL 42-7B-28. Same measures apply for Indian gaming establishments (South Dakota Gaming Commission, 2006). 32
the state in the month of August 2005 (Center For Tourism Research, 2005: website). Deadwood has along with the state developed the concept of heritage through the town's designation as a historic landmark and turned it into a lucrative affair by allowing tourists to revel in a mix of historic and consumer sublime through gambling machines in every nook and in every "saloon" where they can experience what life was like in the Old West, at least as so imagined. Fig.4 Above, historic Deadwood 1876. Below, historic Deadwood in a somewhat cleaner and friendlier version, 2006. (Photos Native popular imagery in Black Hills Tourism Besides spiritual adherence, Plains tribes are imprinted into the Black Hills region partially based on historical associations regarding their popular imagery in Euro-American minds. "[F]or any school of romanticism to be popular it has to have a racial or ethnic ingredient"(Jackson, 1994: 82). Indian culture and Western history are re-imagined and consumed in South Dakota in many ways to fit the tastes of the predominantly white tourists 33
and draw thousands of non-Indian visitors each summer (Center for Tourism Research, 2005). This is also clear on the state's tourism website. History and Heritage South Dakota's history reads like an adventure story. It's a tale of Plains Indians, explorers and pioneers. And it features names like Crazy Horse, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lewis and Clark, and Wild Bill Hickok. When you visit South Dakota, you'll find many opportunities to experience first-hand our rich history and heritage. (South Dakota Tourism, 2006) The above text is from the South Dakota Tourism webpage entitled "Only in South Dakota", which introduces the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota people as "our rich heritage". The state has laid claim to indigenous identity as a collective symbol. The text also places Indians into the storybook experience of the historical sublime along with Euro-American historical figures, reinstating a separation from past and present leading to one collective present future destination as South Dakotans. On another page within the same website the virtual visitor can read more about the Sioux under the heading of "Plains Indians". Here, the Sioux are placed within a language of "rolling plains to majestic mountains" and "magical lands" followed by a brief description of the tribal make-up, Lakota worldview and creation story. Bear Butte is often cited as a sacred site in travel brochures and informational web pages (i.e. South Dakota Park Times, South Dakota Department of Tourism), but it is also identified with "famous facts" such as the great Lakota leaders Red Cloud, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull who congregated at the mountain in 1857 to discuss the increasing number of white settlers on their treaty-recognized territory (, 2006: website). Also, a popular fact reported is that General George A. Custer camped there upon his expedition to the Black Hills in 1874 when he verified the rumors that gold could be found in the hills (Bear Butte State Park website: 2006). The pitting of Lakota warriors against the U.S. Army, in particularly against General Custer is indeed one of the most recognized and readily associated identities of Plains Indians for non-Indian consumers of popular history (this was already evident in 1927 judging by fig. 2 from Deadwood). These kinds of historic facts contribute to the image of the Black Hills and South Dakota as something possible to relive and reconnect to through the narratives provided by the tourism industry. 34
Crazy Horse Memorial Another exposure to popular imagery of Native Americans available for tourists to visit is the Crazy Horse Memorial. This private not-for-profit business venture is a monumental rock carving similar to that of Mt. Rushmore, dedicated to the martyred Oglala Lakota leader (Nabokov, 2006: 210). The giant carving of a muscular, flowing-haired and index fingerpointing Crazy Horse upon horseback is in progress of reshaping one of the mountains of the Black Hills. It is a well-known fact that Crazy Horse himself refused to be photographed and therewith visually immortalized. This does not seem to play a role in this Euro-American version of honoring America's exploited indigenous subjects. Crazy Horse Memorial has not been without controversy. Many Native people identify the sculpture as "a ludicrous continuation of the nineteenth-century tradition of Europeanized sculptures of the Indian as `Vanishing American'" (Nabokov, 2006: 210). By memorializing the great Lakota warrior, it seems to place a separation between what was then and what is now by creating new images and new narratives that can be shaped for present day consumption.
One such subliminal narrative that is a current
project of the Crazy Horse Memorial is a fund-
raising drive involving the lottery of a custom made motorcycle entitled "warrior" (Fig. 5)(Crazy Horse Memorial, 2006: website). It
Fig 5. "Warrior" at the Crazy Horse Memorial. (Photo:
features a "Crazy Horse Theme" with the sculpture-portrait decaled onto the front fender, a
dream-catcher on the fuel tank and fighting stallions on the rear fender (Ibid.).
Natural attraction The Black Hills tourism is based on natural beauty just as much as it is in the historical sublime. Its unique geological formations, wildlife and climate create a hiatus for families, couples, and outdoor enthusiasts to "escape" the drone of urban life ­ to achieve rest and relaxation. Retreating to nature in the Euro-American mindset is a form of recreation. Recreation exists "as pleasure and relaxation, but also as a recharging of exhausted bodies and minds: recreation by means of temporary contact with nature" (Jackson, 1994:89). This
recognition of nature as a place to return to signifies the Euro-American mindset as nature being separate from human life, similar to that of historical tourism explained above. This temporary visit to nature is a means to "psychically green its conscience" as a result of the ultra-industrial society most of us now live in (Bell and Lyall, 2002: 25). This concept is well integrated with the creation and designation of landscapes and is the essence of the ideals behind wilderness park landscapes previously discussed. 36
Bear Butte State Park Fig 6. The entrance to Bear Butte State Park. (Photo by South Dakota Tourism, 2006). The History of Bear Butte State Park In 1962, South Dakota purchased 1,845 acres of land from a private land owner surrounding Bear Butte to form Bear Butte State Park (Nabokov, 2006: 219) and designated it as a place for public enjoyment where the people of South Dakota and the state's visitors may share in the experience of the natural beauty of the mountain and its surrounding landscape. State and national parks had been developing steadily across the nation for this very purpose. The uniqueness of Bear Butte in South Dakota was its intentional creation with not only nature tourism in mind, but also its ability to showcase Native American culture. The state's creation of the park was according to Brown (1999: 97) done with "undisguised interest in preserving Indian religious practice at Bear Butte as a unique inducement to a state tourist industry...", adding to the already existing 45 state parks, 2 national parks and a national monument, generating 272,000 acres of romper room, not to mention two million acres of national forest acreage (Ibid.). South Dakota's incorporation of Bear Butte into its state park system was "in part to serve and assist Indian worshipers" (Ibid.), while also making Bear Butte a benefit for the general public to "discover the importance of the Butte to the original development of the Black Hills, as well as the geological and Indian religious values of the Butte" (Crow vs. Gullet quoted in Brown, 1999: 97). 37
The state's decision to open the site to the general public was done without consultation with Indian tribes (Brown, 1999: 97) who revere its sacredness, "whose most private religious quests it sought to display" (Ibid.). This disregard for indigenous stakeholders, whose place of worship was now opened up for ethnographic tourism, continued as the Division of Parks and Recreation constructed a visitor center in 1967 on the south side of the mountain along with road access (Ibid.). Development continued and a residence and small gift shop were built near the visitor center, and two parking lots ­ one for the visitor center, and one at the trail head up the slope (Ibid.). Campgrounds were developed across the highway, by the small Bear Butte Lake fed by the springs that run off from the mountain. Bear Butte Lake is the only natural lake in the Black Hills and also a place of sacred value (Sundstrom, 2006: personal communication). Hiking trails were also constructed on the mountain, featuring "wooden platforms [that] were set up at periodic sites along the trails ostensibly for scenic overlooks, but from which tourists could view Lakota and Tsistsistas vision quest seekers in any number of their chosen prayer spots all over Bear Butte" (Ibid.). Previously there were signs placed along the trails and at lookout posts that informed visitors of where they could best view Indians making prayers and fasting for visions (Nabokov, 2006: 219). South Dakota clearly understood the opportunity to use indigenous culture as a tourist draw and to build upon the national romantic experience through the park's natural beauty. Plains Indians could function as a living exhibition and an exotic one at that. The park would help contribute to creating `the American Indian' as a symbol for national identity in the same fashion as the natural landscape. A National Historic Landmark In 1981 Bear Butte became a National Historic Landmark based on its sacred value among Plains Indian Tribes. The objective of the National Historic Landmarks Program (NHL) is "to preserve places of national significance that retain exceptional value as commemorating or illustrating the History of the United States for the inspiration and benefit of the people" (Historic Sites Act of 1935 in NHL, 2006: website). National Historic Landmarks are administered by the National Park Service (NHL, 2006: website), however "Landmark designation implies no commitment on the part of the Federal government to acquire the property" (Ibid.). The NHL provides an opportunity to assess and consult on national historic properties. If federal funding is involved with support of a designated site, the NHL designation gives cause to review and minimize any development that may damage the 38
historic landmark (Ibid.). This however is not the case when involving private properties, where there is no requirement by private property owners to give an opportunity of review of property development to the NHL. The national status of the park thus had little value to the events that followed its designation. Heading towards the heavens. View from summit trail. (Author, September 26, 2005) A Change in Management Strategy "In 1982, Bear Butte State Park had increased its tourist population to more than 10,000 visitors a year" (Brown, 1999: 98). The increase in tourism at the park caused disruptions in the intimacy and solitude needed for many native worshipers as tourism was changing the character of the mountain (Ibid.). That same year, the Division of Parks and Recreation announced a number of development plans to increase accessibility for visitors to the site. The park manager at the time, Tony Gullet, send out letters to Lakota and Cheyenne leaders informing them of restrictions to Bear Butte during the construction process where current buildings were to be relocated, roads and parking lots upgraded including one to the ceremonial grounds (Brown, 1999:99). Evening ceremonial activities were not allowed at the 39
mountain during construction, and all native campers were to use the public campground two miles away (Ibid.). Furthermore, Gullet's letter introduced a new resource management strategy that pointed to strenuous use of the land in the ceremonial area due to increased participation. Gullet announced that all native worshipers would from now on be required to carry a permit issued by the park, limiting their stay to ten days that would allow for gathering of medicinal plants and ceremonial use of off-trail areas (Ibid.). Native worshipers had no say as the state tightened its control and monitoring of their actions. The Lakota and Cheyenne began a constitutional battle through circuit and District Courts that carried all the way up to the Supreme Court in 1983 (Nabokov, 2006: 220), where it was unfortunately turned down in favor of the state. The courts could be examined as racially or culturally biased as they time and again were unable to recognize the significance of Bear Butte as a place of worship that was equal to the sanctity of a church. One District Court judge concluded that if the state were to protect "the religious practitioners on the Butte from the particular grievances of certain kinds of tourist behavior [it] would turn the mountain into an illicit `government-managed religious shrine'" (Brown, 1999: 106). The same judge also exclaimed to the plaintiffs that camping outside of the designated public campground was actually one of many privileges for them to enjoy on state property, which they therefore had little reason to complain about (Brown, 1999: 106). The American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, the strongest support for which Native people had for protecting their First Amendment rights also proved to be hollow in this regard, interpreted as mere federal policy rather than as a binding law (Nabokov, 2006:220). The consensus in the courts that the state of South Dakota's "concern to enhance Bear Butte for greater public access and enjoyment was a `compelling state interest' that took priority over the demands of the Lakota and Tsistsistas religions practiced at the Butte" (Brown, 1999: 118). There was seemingly little in the way of the law that could put an end to the intrusions of park visitors. Visitors with telephoto lenses and camcorders continued to gawk and photograph ceremonies and vision seekers (Steen, 2004-08-13: website). "Requisite silence and prayerful reflection were not the instinctive habit of the ordinary tourist, to say nothing of those who hiked the Butte drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages. Noise from radios, car horns, motorcycles, and groups of tourists hollering on the Butte or calling to 40
others below deeply disturbed the sense of harmony and intensifies concentration of the tribal vision seekers" (Brown, 1999: 98). Bear Butte Today View from summit trail. (Author, September 26, 2005) Management Without the protection of law, there are seemingly few avenues for Native tribes to act and exercise control over the sites management. In fact management has turned out to be a key issue for Bear Butte's future success as a sacred site and as a place of public recreation. In 2000, the park hired Jim Jandreau as Park Manager. Jandreau is a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Although his role has been vital to creating a trust between state and tribes, he claims that the will to connect was already forming before his arrival (Jandreau, 2006: Personal Communication). "There have been a lot of mistakes made at this park as it relates to the Indian community and I think that before I got here some felt the need to correct 41
them. When I was hired, the state was already more than willing to look and find the areas that it needed to make these corrections in and then take action to correct them" (Ibid.). The way in which Jandreau's management differs from previous strategies is that he works to incorporate more than consultation with tribal partners. The Division of Parks and Recreation hosts a forum each year where tribal and state representatives participate and discuss the issues they have. "I feel what we do goes way beyond consultation" (Jandreau, 2006: personal communication). Consultation has a reputation among tribes as often abused as an opportunity to try to push the tribes to see how far they will concede (Ibid.). "At this point in time we are able to sit down and discuss the issues no matter what they might be with the tribes and the tribes know that their interests are being considered and that no decisions are made without their direct involvement" (Ibid.). Since Bear Butte is a sacred site, tribal involvement is done through traditional spiritual leaders and their elders rather than tribal government officials (Ibid.). The forum discusses all important matters of the park such as erosion, timber cutting for firewood, controlled burns, trash, tourists and "wannabes2" (Jandreau, 2006: personal communication). The general mission statement for all of South Dakota's State Parks provides a basis for each park to develop its own goals upon through the manager's directives (Miller, 2006: personal communication). Bear Butte's mission is more fluent as it relies on the determination and guidance of the Bear Butte forum. Mission Statement of the Division of Parks and Recreation (DPR) of South Dakota: "Division of Parks and Recreation is committed to providing diverse outdoor recreational opportunities, acting as a catalyst for a growing tourism economy and preserving the resources with which we are entrusted. We will accomplish this through efficient, responsive and environmentally sensitive management, and constructive communication with those we serve." Obviously this mission statement, with a clear purpose to focus park development geared towards tourism and environmental preservation creates an expansive terrain for interpretation. Thus, there is a need for, and ability to instigate, culturally sensitive 2 The term "wannabes" will be explained later in the thesis. Despite its derogatory-sounding nature, it is but a descriptive term used by Native Americans to recognize non-Natives who in essence are perceived as illegitimately practicing and laying claim to Native American cultural traits and spirituality. 42
management in order to successfully manage a sacred site like Bear Butte. Yet, managers come and go and governments change, but for now there is an ability to reach consensus among the seventeen tribes and the State Departments that meet annually. Jandreau (2006, personal communication) is convincingly optimistic about the future, "I do not feel that things will ever go back to the way things were before I arrived". Visitor Behavior There are a number of different types of visitors that come to Bear Butte. As thus far established, Bear Butte is unique in that it is a place of nature tourism through its mountain beauty and hiking trails; a biking destination, and a campground. At the same time it is a place of cultural tourism through its sacred importance to Plains Indian tribes. Therefore there is a diversity of visitors that not only are decided by their recreational and educational interests, but also through their proximity when traveling in the area. With the presence of tourism at the mountain, the religious activities are still spectacles during the ceremonial summer season and many tourists' behaviors have been less than respectful at the site (Steen, 2004-08-13: website). In many instances this is based on the expectations of visitors when visiting a State Park and public lands. The spiritual actions of Native worshipers can provide a tourist with the essential qualities of an ethnographic museum display and provide "the promise of visual penetration, access to the back region of other people's lives, the life world of others as our playground, the view that people are most themselves when at play, and festivals as the quintessence of a region and its people" (Kirchenblatt 1991: 149). That ceremonial activities at Bear Butte are annual community activities and independent of the tourist trade, brings a greater interest for their display as they are "real" and not just made for tourists. They are recognized as `ultra' authentic. Behavioral traits among visitors all seem to relate to an ignorance of indigenous values of the landscape and an understanding that public land is "my land". There are certain expectations that visitors have when visiting a state park that relates to the tourism mentality already instated within the Black Hills landscape. For example "some tourists show up with the attitude that they have to conquer the mountain. At 920 vertical feet to the summit, the twomile trail offers a challenge to those who want to be the fastest one up the butte" (Steen paraphrasing Jandreau, 2006-08-13: website). The Euro-American understanding of wilderness as something to be conquered and tamed is rooted and relived among individual 43
park visitors. Besides recreationalists that hike to the top of the mountain, there are visitors who come during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August each year (Steen, 2004-08-13: website), as well as non-Natives who are commonly referred to as "wannabes" (Jandreau, 2006: personal communication) and "New Agers" that either want to hold their own ceremonies at Bear Butte or want to join in with Native ceremonies (Richards in Ross, 200407-16: website).
Wannabes and New Agers The term "wannabes" is usually applied to non-Natives who are looking to receive spiritual enlightenment through what they interpret as indigenous religious instruction and insight. They sometimes arrive with a Native person for ceremonies, but do not leave once the ceremonies are done. They continue to camp at the ceremonial grounds claiming protection under the First Amendment and religious freedom (Ross, 2004-07-16: website). New Agers come and want to conduct their own ceremonies. A park staff member related to me how a woman came to the park in the summer season and desperately wanted to burry her crystal on the mountain slope at exactly a certain time of the day of the summer solstice (Park staff member, 2005: personal communication). Such issues are difficult to curtail in strictly legal terms regarding freedom of religion, but at that time it was enough with telling the woman it was not allowed. Besides referring to a lack of continuity in such religious activity at the mountain, the staff could also rely on park rules, stating that the woman's request to burry her crystal would be considered damaging to the park environment and therefore a violation (fig.6).
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
With Bear Butte State Park just
outside of the town of Sturgis it
becomes a popular destination during
the rally with around 200 people per
day entering the visitor center (Steen,
2004-08-13: website). With the
famous, and for some local residents,
infamous motorcycle rally "up
towards 500,000" rumbling two-
Fig. 6. Bear Butte codified laws. (Author, September 26, 2005)
wheeler enthusiasts gather in the area during the first two weeks of August (Melmer, 2006-04-
10: website). The rally usually requires an increase in staff resources to keep order in the park. The visitor center plays a key role in managing the increase in public visits (Steen, 2006-0813: website). That the rally is held in the Black Hills in the midst of an open landscape that inspires to aspirations of American freedom subliminally symbolized in motorcycles, the open road, and often identified in numerous road movies is probably not a coincidence. Even stereotyped Plains Indian culture and lawless gunfighters add to the ideological feeling of freedom ­ roaming at will and living life on one's own terms. It certainly fits the historical and national experience of South Dakota as previously defined. Informing Visitors A change put into motion from the Bear Butte Forum recently was the decision to remove the upper parking lot in 2004 (Steen, 2004-08-13). Visitors would previously use the parking lot, near the trailhead as a spot to use binoculars, telephoto lenses and camcorders to view and record ceremonial activity in the ceremonial grounds below (Ibid.). Now, visitors must park at the visitor center, which also encourages them to stop in first before heading on to the trail. Park staff then has the opportunity to inform visitors of the expected type of respectful behavior (Ross, 2004-07-16: website). However, this is not always the case and there are still visitors who will walk from the upper parking lot right down towards the ceremonial grounds to either get a closer look or to try to join in (Park staff member, 2005: personal communication). 45
Fig. 7. View of the visitor center and parking lot from the former "upper parking lot". (Author, September 26, 2005) The Visitor Center At the visitor center, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history of Bear Butte and its significance to Indian tribes through a small museum display featuring archaeological artifacts from the mountain, ethnographic objects from visiting tribes and historical photos of the Butte's visitors from Custer and Sitting Bull to the overly curious tourists in the 1960's snapping pictures of fasting Indians on the mountain slopes. There are a number of sacred objects on display throughout the visitor center. There is a small sign that stands on top of a glass case forbidding photographs of such objects. The sacred objects have been displayed through agreement with tribal spiritual leaders. There is a welcoming feeling at the visitor center that allows a visitor to use his/her best judgment on the basis of trust upon viewing sacred objects (as if visiting someone's house for the first time and worrying about where to wipe your feet while the host does everything to make you feel at home). The visitor center provides structure and context for first time arrivals at the park. The center's services and informative park staff give a structure to an otherwise complexly layered landscape of the 46
indigenous meaning of Bear Butte. It is a service that is necessary for simplified yet accurate translations from the indigenous experience to the majority non-indigenous visitors.
There are a number of brochures available that
explain different aspects of Bear Butte
providing information on etiquette, history and
geology. One brochure presents something
similar to a mission statement: "Bear Butte, as a
state park, serves as a place where visitors of all
ages, ethnicities, and abilities may learn more
about the land, history, and culture, which
surrounds the Mountain. Bear Butte, as a sacred
site, serves as a place of spiritual significance.
To the people who worship at the Mountain,
Bear Butte is a house of worship" (Bear Butte
State Park brochure, 2005). There is a decidedly heavy emphasis on educating the general public
Fig 8. Entrance to summit hiking trail. (Author, September 26, 2005)
about historical and contemporary Plains Indian lives and interpretations of Bear Butte.
Jandreau (2006, personal communication) explained the importance of education to him in
stating, "If I have to explain things from the beginning for someone I believe it is time well
Trailhead At the trailhead (Fig. 8), hikers are met with an information kiosk providing further information about the mountain with information on the wildlife and geology of the park and the native importance of the site. Visitors are also given a Code of Conduct once again before starting on the trail. Immediately upon entering the trail, visitors are met with not only breathtaking beautiful natural scenery, but also an unending view of prayer cloths and tobacco ties. These are individual prayer offerings to spirit beings that are as common in the park landscape as the blades of grass that cover the slopes of the mountain. For an ignorant visitor of Indian traditions of respect for the sacred, one may be tempted to untie one of these colourful sacred objects and take it home as an exotic souvenir. In an article in Rapid City Journal (Steen, 2004-08-13: website) Jim Jandreau addressed this issue in the hopes of informing the numerous Sturgis rally goers of good conduct at Bear Butte. "The whole
mountain is considered sacred, and offerings are to be left alone. This is a violation if they're [prayer cloths] tampered with" (Jandreau in Steen, 2004-08-13: website). Fig. 9- Special Rules of Bear Butte. (Author, September 26, 2005). Current Legal Battles and Community Activism A recommendation by the National Historic Landmarks Program stated in 2004 that, "development proposals and future land sales could threaten the integrity of the NHL [Bear Butte]" (NHL, 2004: website). It recommended the purchase of land adjacent to Bear Butte when available to help minimize threats to the integrity of the sacred site (Ibid). With Bear Butte as the most important sacred site within Cheyenne culture, the Northern Cheyenne tribe of Montana has been buying up land around the site since the 1970's (Steen, Rapid City Journal, 2006: web addition). This has increased the tribe's ability to visit, gain access to the site, and above all, protect it. Buying up land surrounding the mountain has been a method of preservation to restore and maintain the peace and sacred space of the site, allowing Indian people a proximity to their spiritual source. 48
Summer 2005, businessman Jay Allen who owns a chain of "biker bars" bought a 600 acre parcel of land 2,5 miles north of Bear Butte to develop a Sturgis rally campground with plans for rodeo grounds, a 35,000 seat concert venue, and a biker bar (Melmer, 2006-04-10). On April 10, 2006, Mead County held a public hearing before the granting of a malt beverage license to Mr. Allen. Plains Indian representatives from all over the region who hold Bear Butte sacred as well as non-Native sympathizers and local community members marched in protest from Bear Butte to the Meade County courthouse. Many Native spiritual leaders, activists and prominent figures spoke against the license such as Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation keeper of the sacred pipe, Rosalie Little Thunder of the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center, and Lawrence Kills Back, tribal council member from the Northern Cheyenne (Ibid). Despite a number of emotional testimonies, hundreds of protest letters, and 4,000 signatures the council voted in favor of the beer license 5-0 (Ibid). Indian people worry that the amount of noise level and eye pollution from the increase of motorcycle traffic, rock concerts and drunkenness will once again degrade the spiritual solitude of the mountain, not to mention disrespect it as a sacred source. They have every reason to worry. "Clearly, the explosive noises, riotous exhibitionism and liquor-driven frivolity that the planned entertainment venue will bring to Bear Butte will destroy this mystical sanctuary for American Indians" (Nabokov, 2006-03-26: website).The EuroAmerican council based its decision on the guiding principles in which the United States is founded on ­ private property rights. "I come from a culture that respects the collective with integrity; you [the commission] talk about individual rights" (Little Thunder in Melmer, 200604-10: website). The tribes were fully aware of this Euro-American blunder in understanding the indigenous landscape. History has shown this numerous times as illustrated throughout this thesis. The sacredness of Bear Butte is not simply about the mountain, it is about everything that is connected to it. "The top of Bear Butte is sacred, but all of Bear Butte is sacred, and Bear Butte and the lake and the surrounding prairie are sacred, and then Bear Butte Creek is sacred, because it flows out of the Black Hills which are also sacred. It turtles all the way down, as the saying goes" (Sundstrom, 2006: personal communication). Therefore "three tribes supported resolutions for a 5 mile buffer zone surrounding Bear Butte excluding liquor or 49
beer licenses, but in this year's session the state legislature killed a bill that would have granted the zone (Melmer, 2006-04-10: website). Bear Butte is hardly experiencing a harmonious life in the midst of the beginning of the 21st century. It continually proves to be an historical monument of contested landscape reference points between Native and non-Native worldviews. Yet, the care and preservation of the designated cultural landscape in the form of Bear Butte State Park and as a National Historic Landmark, Bear Butte is finding some peace and becoming a place of mediation between two different cultural landscapes to reach an all encompassing educational goal. This is becoming a trend in the Black Hills park landscape despite the historic and national sublime of cultural tourism. Since 2004, Mount Rushmore's new superintendent Gerald Baker, also Native American (Hidatsa-Mandan) has an educational goal of incorporating Native American history and pre-history into all programs (Melmer, 2004-12-13: website). Wind Cave National Park which has previously ignored any formal recognition of its importance to Plains Indian Tribes in its educational programming has now begun to consult and incorporate a management and educational plan that will also interpret the site from a native point of view (Melmer, 2005-10-25: website). 50
A view from the top of Bear Butte. The highway cuts across park land, separating the mountain and Bear Butte Lake. (Author, September 26, 2005) Framing Landscape as a means of authenticating its value Bear Butte State Park is a frame across an ancient landscape that has continually been associated with indigenous cultures of the Plains. This frame creates opportunities to preserve the mountain from degradation, erosion, and development, while at the same time providing public access and recreational opportunities to one of the most sacred places in the Plains Indian landscape for all those who wish to visit. The layered interpretation of the landscape become most apparent when the high tourist season of the summer collides with the ceremonial season of native worshipers who come to conduct sacred ceremonies. A number of non-Indian visitors do not understand how to observe culturally sensitive protocols when visiting Bear Butte. The layered landscape is artificial, like in a museum, in its temporal state for recreational visitors, and very real for native worshipers as essential for life 51
itself. Yet, through current management strategies, authority is given to native agency within the park that creates a medium for which the layers of the landscape can merge by focusing on an educational experience rather than simple recreation "Authenticity is not about factuality or reality. It is about authority" (Crew & Sims, 1991: 163). When looking at the legal battles revolving around Bear Butte State Park in the past, we see that the state courts considered Indian use of the site as a privilege above and beyond what rights any park visitors may have regarding public recreation on state land. Through Bear Butte's current management, Native American worshipers now have authority within the park, legitimizing a portion of their sacred landscape within the Euro-American landscape. There is little doubt in anyone's minds today about the place and meaning of Bear Butte to tribes like the Lakota and Cheyenne. Yet, that understanding, or acceptance perhaps, is limited to the frame of the State Park as recent recognition of Bear Butte's sacred space beyond park boundaries has been declined in favor of private property rights. Indians and wilderness are seemingly still best comprehended within island-like reserves at bay from the rest of the American society (Spence, 1999: 3). Landscapes framed by institutions that function along the same model as museums create a "cultural artifact" (Heumann Gurian, 1991: 178). Yet as landscape is determined by human interaction, it is also automatically a place of cultural performance. Furthermore, landscapes are given special value depending on who interprets them and how they are interpreted. As state parks form landscapes they are also communicating a collective value for that landscape. The producers of a landscape as artifact are presenting a valued content (Ibid.). The content is then made accessible in a means which may satisfy the general public. In the case of state park landscapes, this is inherent in the behavioral patterns expected by visitors and park systems and the mission of such parks as recreational tourist spaces. It is, in the end, up to the audience member to give it meaning. As there is a stated need to examine the institutional perspective of a museums visitor (Ibid.), so too is true for the park services. 52
Conclusion Throughout this thesis I have illustrated and explored the interpretations and meanings of landscape in the Black Hills. I have also examined its relation to ideas of ownership and authority both within and outside park landscapes. Furthermore I have illustrated the ways in which the cultural layers of the landscape are interweaving and creating opportunities to move forward in order to live in coexistence. Histories of Native Americans and non-Natives are indeed separate in many ways, but also complexly interwoven. Interpreting the history of an entire state and recognizing all its diversity while letting different interpretations come forth demands a great deal of flexibility in cultural politics, institutional policies, and a thorough and sensitive management of cultural resources. Within museum studies we find that landscapes are closely linked with the concept of heritage. Heritage is often regarded as something categorically defined for a collective identity focusing on preservation through narrative values that link the past with the present. Graeme Aplin describes heritage in this manner: "We are all products of our personal and collective pasts, including those of our forebears and of local, ethnic, religious, and other groups to which we belong. We are also products of our present physical, social and cultural environments. Not surprisingly, we each identify and value our heritage according to our backgrounds and experiences. Our heritage is made up of existing `things' that often, but not always, have historical associations, for example, important buildings, landscapes, plant and animal species, and less tangible cultural features." (Aplin, 2002: 1). This description of cultural heritage shows clear similarities with definitions of cultural landscapes as presented as identity baring, one may even consider them synonymous. The difference between these concepts is perhaps the idea that heritage, although it recognizes a link to the present, it is fixated with the past. Heritage is linear through time, while landscape is a concept of place or a space. Time, or its expression through heritage, is a contributing factor to forming landscape, but landscape may also be considered timeless, as historical narratives continue to formulate the present perception of landscape. Landscape can thus also be an important ingredient to heritage. Landscapes can be used as museums and even as museum objects themselves as they are assigned different contexts and interpretations. However, where museum objects may be 53
given new contexts by physically dispossessing them from their origin, landscapes in the case of the United States, are given new contexts by the dispossession of their original inhabitants ­ indigenous peoples. The national romanticism of the wilderness landscape in America played an important role for the country's citizens in shaping a collective identity and understanding of the strange and unusual landscape of the West. America conquered is fears through preservation in national and state park lands for recreational visits while simultaneously removing Indians to reservation lands. The indigenous landscape, however, was never limited to reservation borders, but spanned a vast territory of original homeland, and is still kept alive through cultural traditions, oral histories, and sacred ceremonies. The sacred geography of the indigenous landscape extends beyond the surface of the earth and is not limited to single worship sites, but exists in all directions and reflects in the stars. With wilderness tamed in America and the recent past put into history, cultural tourism in the Black Hills revels in the sublime narratives of the Old West, the frontier, and Plains Indian nobility allowing for a fashion of history that could easily and readily be consumed and comprehended for a Euro-American culture. The economic gain from this concept is a locomotive for continual use of such imagery. Jackson discusses this when stating "[w]hen did that citizen-oriented romanticism go out of fashion? I suggest that it is still going strong among Americans; though we are for the most part at home in the flatlands, in the open, organized environment of farms and offices and cities, we still revere the forest-perhaps more than any other people, with the exception of the Canadians-as a place for recreation and rest and rich impression" (Jackson, 1994: 85). Finally, with the creation of Bear Butte State Park in 1962, a combination of nature and culture tourism provided its foundation. This sacred site merged the islands (Spence, 1999: 3) of wilderness and "Indian-ness" for the pleasure and recreational will of a Euro-American public. As the civil rights movement brought indigenous and minority issues to the attention of the greater American public, changes within park policy gradually grew to today's current management strategies. A number of national and state parks are shaping bonds with dispossessed indigenous groups and using the park landscape as a platform for creating cultural awareness and understanding in order to create a working interwoven landscape that gives integrity to all whose culture now layer the landscape. Yet, contention and ignorance 54
still reside in the interpretation of the laws of United States that favor private ownership and entrepreneurship. The dichotomies between indigenous and Euro-American interpretations of land use are still present and the complexity of framing landscapes will continue. For professionals of the heritage sector, the issues highlighted here provide a foundation for a process of exploring how we interpret and interact with landscapes. It allows us to identify and give recognition to those who have different meanings imbedded within the same landscape. The issues addressed in this dissertation have shown the necessity of inquiry into socioeconomic and political imbalances between cultures in order to grasp potential conflictions in interpreting landscapes and culture. 55
BIBLIOGRAPHY Aplin, Graeme Heritage: Identification, Conservation and Management. Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press, 2002. Brown, Brian E. Religion, Law & the Land: Native Americans & the Judicial Interpretation of Sacred Land. Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Publlishing Group, Inc., 1999. Bell, Claudia and John Lyall "The Accelerated Sublime" in Coleman and Crang, 2002. Brett, David The Construction of Heritage. Cork, Cork University Press, 1996. Burke, Heather, Lyn Leader-Elliot and Richard Maltby Understanding Cultural Landscapes. Flinders University, 2004. Internet: Accessed: 2006-03-28. Center for Tourism Research "Travel Activity Black Hills Region" 2005 Website: Accessed: 2006-05-10 Coleman, Simon and Mike Crang (Ed.) Tourism: Between Place and Performance. Oxford, Berghahn Books, 2002. Crazy Horse Memorial Website: Accessed: 2006-05-10. Crew & Sims "Locating Authenticity: Fragments of a Dialogue" in Karp and Lavine, 1991. Deadwood Tourism Website: Accessed: 2006-05-15. Defend Bear Butte Website: Accessed: 2006-03-23 Edson, Gary "Heritage: Pride or Passion, Product or Service?" International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol.10, No.4, September 2004. Gunderson, Dan and Tom Robertson Rekindling the Spirit: The Rebirth of American Indian Spirituality, Minnesota Public Radio. August 20, 2003. Internet: lityone/ Accessed: 2006-05-10. Heumann Gurian, Elaine "Noodling around with Exhibition Opportunities..." in Karp and Lavine, 1991. Hirsch, Eric "Introduction," in Hirsch and O'Hanlon, 1995. Hirsch, Eric and Michael O'Hanlon The Anthropology of Landscape. New York, Oxford University Press, 1995. 56
Ingold, Tim "Rethinking the Animate, Re-Animating Thought," Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm Vol. 71: 1 2006. Jackson, John Brinckerhoff A Sense of Place, A sense of Time. Binghamton, NY. Yale University Press, 1994. Jandreau, Jim Bear Butte State Park Manager. Personal communication 2006-04-01. Jeffers Petroglyphs State Historic Site Ceremonial Use Policy, Minnesota Historical Society, 2005. Karp, Ivan and Lavine, Steven D. (Ed.) Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display. London, Smithsonian Institution, 1991. Kirchenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara "Objects of Ethnography" in Karp and Lavine, 1991. Landrum, Ney. C. State Park Movement in America: A Critical Review. Columbia, MO. University of Missouri Press, 2003. Little Earth United Tribes Inc. Internet: Accessed: 2006-05-10. Marafa, Lawal M. "Integrating Natural and Culturla Heritage: the advantage of feng shui landscape resources." International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2003. Matthiessen, Peter In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. New York, Viking, 1991 (1983). Melmer, David "Historic changes for Mount Rushmore." Indian Country Today. 2004-12-13. Web addition. Accessed: 2006-05-10. "Bear Butte to see another biker bar." Indian Country Today, 2006-04-10. Web addition. Accessed: 2006-04-11. "Parks Strive to improve tours." Indian Country Today, 2005-10-25. Web addition: Accessed: 2006-05-15. Miller, Angela "Everywhere and Nowhere: The Making of the National Landscape." American literary history, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Summer 1992). Miller, Emilie Information Officer for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks -Division of Parks & Recreation. Personal Communication. 2006-05-09. Mitchell, Don "Cultural landscapes: the dialectical landscape- recent landscape research in human geography." Progress in Human Geography, Vol. 26, No. 3 (2002). Nabokov, Peter Where Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places. New York, Viking, 2006. 57
"Beer, Broads, Bikers- And the Great Spirit." Los Angeles Times, 2006-03-26. Website:,1,3637101.story?coll=la-headlines-suncomment. Accessed: 2006-04-12. National Historic Landmarks "National Historic Landmarks Survey" National Parks Service. Website: Accessed: 2006-04-04. National Parks Service ParkNet. Website: Accessed 2006-05-4. Rand McNally The Road Atlas: 2001 Updated Edition. U.S.A., 2001. Ross, Denise "Religious Groups Clash Over Bear Butte" Rapid City Journal, 2004-07-16. Website: Accessed: 2006-02-21. South Dakota Gaming Commission "Frequently Asked Questions". Website: Accessed: 2006-05-15. South Dakota Tourism Webpage. Accessed: 2006-05-10. Spence, Mark D. Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and Making of the National Parks. Cary, NC, USA: University of Oxford Press, 1999. Steen, Jomay "Montana Tribe Buys Bear Butte Acreage". Rapid City Journal. Rapid City, S.D., 2006. Internet version. Accessed: 2006-04-04. "Bear Butte Attendance Up During Rally". Rapid City Journal. Rapid City, S.D., 2004-08-03. Web addition. Accessed: 2006-02-21. Sundstrom, Linea "Mirror of Heaven: Cross-Cultural Transference of the Sacred Geography of the Black Hills," World Archaeology, Vol. 28, No. 2, Sacred Geography (Oct., 1996). "An Indian Paradise": Continuity and Change in Perceptions of the Black Hills. Paper presented at the Plains Indian Seminar, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming, September 20, 2005. Personal communication, May 13, 2006. UNESCO "Cultural Landscapes," World Heritage Center. Internet: Accessed: 2006-03-28. 58
Wikapedia "American Indian Movement". Internet: Accessed: 2006-05-10. Nicholas Waller can be reached at: Bдvsjцrydsvдgen 19 44392 Lerum Sweden [email protected] tel. +46 302 10382 59

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