Paha Sapa - He Sapa Wakan; experience the sacred lands of the Lakota Sioux
Day 1 -
Did you know that Paha Sapa, the Black Hills – named for their dark silhouettes smudged against the horizon - have long been of spiritual significance to the Cheyenne and Lakota? The Lakota always called He Sapa, the Black Hills, 'The Heart Of Everything That Is', and when James B Herrington (Chickasaw), a Native American astronaut took a photograph of the Black Hills from space, unsurprisingly to traditional Lakotas, they looked exactly like a map of the human heart.
Beginning at Wind Cave, you will learn of Lakota genesis, and hear the Lakota Creaton explanation, standing by the actual entrance to the very cave from which the First Man and Woman emerged, feeling the same wind whistling as they felt from their subterranean world.
Seek out Tatanka, the buffalo - which remains a direct spiritual link to the ancestors. Encounter the descendants of the great buffalo herds that once roamed the plains. Then among the granite spires and brook laden grassy meadows of the Black Hills experience the tradition of Lakota storytelling.
Day 2 -
Bear Butte – a place where tribal people convene from the four directions to undertake sacred ceremonies and vision quests. Sacred and serene, its ambience never challenges but shares the great mystery with the Lakotas and Cheyennes who make the Vision Quest. Prayer ties hang from the trees, meadowlarks sing, prairie grasses sway, and so do the buffalo. This is one of the most sacred sites on the Northern Plains and to some is considered the Center of the Universe.
Native American star knowledge teaches the concept that what is on earth is merely the reflection of the real world in the sky; sites that are important within the Lakota world are directly related to constellations. At one of the most sacred of those earthly venues, Mato Tipila (Devils’ Tower) you will learn that this is not simply an giant, awe-inspiring obelisk of granite jutting forth from the ground for the benefit of rock climbers – this place has deep spiritual significance and historical record to seven different Plains cultures (Lakota, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Shoshone, Arapaho, Crow and Pawnee) who tell remarkably similar history and cultural connotations of this sacred rock’s creation and of its mirror-image in the connecting star world.
Stay: Rapid City, SD
Day 3 -
Travel to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke in Lakota) and hear in situ the story of the Oglala Lakota people. From rolling hills and prairie terrain to rocky outcrops, Pine Ridge was originally included within the 18 million acre territory of the Great Sioux Reservation, but in 1889, the boundaries were cut by Congress to just 2 million acres, or 3,468 square miles of land (which still leaves it the second largest reservation in the US). This day you will tour the Heritage Center at Red Cloud School to admire the beautiful Fine Arts and crafts, and if your dates coincide, enjoy the fabulous summer Art Show there. You will see the original Pine Ridge Agency, the seat of the Oglala Lakota Tribal government, and after a visit to the Oglala Lakota College history center, your day culminates with a visit to Wounded Knee. There can be no substitute for visiting the site yourself and hearing the truth of the event from Lakota guides who can also explain the reverberations of the massacre of 1890 into contemporary Indian life. Enjoy food from local eateries and remember that on the Pine Ridge rez you will have opportunity to buy art and jewelry direct from Lakota artisans at the new arts coop that has replaced the controversial alcohol supermarket that for decades made millions selling beer and liquor on the edge of the reservation, causing misery to many families across the reservation of the Oglala Lakota people.
Where: The Sacred Black Hills, Bear Butte and Bear's Lodge, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
When: May - Oct. Call +307 699 6015 for availability. (Travel outside these dates at your risk for weather)
Duration: 3 Days of touring.
Tour Fee: $1297 (ex.accommodations/ground transport)
NOTE: For a customized, all-inclusive package please call to discuss your preferences and pricing.
Meeting point: Rapid City
Please note: Your tour fee covers guiding only.
Two adults may travel on this tour for the base price, additional adult travelers beyond 2 pay a supplement of $347 per person.
Kids (16 and under) beyond the first two adults pay just $147 per child.
Please note that 8 or more people is considered a group, and special group pricing applies - please call for information. 307 699 6015
We are very happy to set up accommodations and car rentals for you should you need them.