Category: THE CENRAL STATES AND THE GREAT LAKES
Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land
The stone that juts from one of the high banks of the Missouri, in South
Dakota, gives its name to the Standing Rock Agency, which, by reason of
many councils, treaties, fights, feasts, and dances held there, is the
best known of the frontier posts. It was a favorite gathering place of
the Sioux before the advent of the white man. The rock itself is only
twenty-eight inches high and fifteen inches wide, and could be plucked up
and carried away without difficulty, but no red man is brave enough to do
that, for this is the transformed body of a squaw who was struck into
stone by Manitou for falsely suspecting her husband of unfaithfulness.
After her transformation she not only remained sentient but acquired
supernatural powers that the Sioux propitiated by offerings of beads,
tobacco, and ribbons, paint, fur, and game--a practice that was not
abandoned until the teachings of missionaries began to have effect among
them. Soldiers and trappers think the story an ingenious device to
prevent too close inquiry into the lives of some of the nobility of the
tribe. The Arickarees, however, regard this stone as the wife of one of
their braves, who was so pained and mortified when her husband took a
second wife that she went out into the prairie and neither ate nor drank
until she died, when the Great Spirit turned her into the Standing Stone.
The squaws still resort to it in times of domestic trouble.
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