Friday, June 8, 2012

Mato Tipila or Devils Tower

Whether you call it an igneous intrusion or laccolith, Mato Tipila or Wox Niiinon, the 1,267 feet of Devils Tower creates a feeling of awe and drama.  President Theodore Roosevelt declared this the first United States National Monument on September 24, 1906 because of its beauty, splendor, and dramatic properties. 

Mato Tipila or Devils Tower by Dakota Visions Photography LLC Black Hills www.dakotavisions.com

The monument's boundary encloses an area of 1,347 acres and has close to 400,000 annual visitors. Whether you visit as a reminder of the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind or to be one of the 1% of visitors to climb the summit reaching 5,112 feet above sea level, this monolith continues to draw people from around the world.

Mato Tipila or Devils Tower by Dakota Visions Photography LLC Black Hills www.dakotavisions.com

Devils Tower did not visibly rise out of the landscape until the overlying sedimentary rocks eroded away.  As the elements wore down the softer sandstones and shales, the more resistant igneous rock making up the tower survived the erosional forces.  Even today, the cracks along the columns are subject to water and ice erosion.  Pieces, or even entire columns, of rock at Devils Tower are continually breaking off and falling.  This scree - or piles of broken columns, boulders, small rocks, and stones - lies at the base of the tower indicating that it was once wider than it is today.

Mato Tipila or Devils Tower by Dakota Visions Photography LLC Black Hills www.dakotavisions.com

It is believed that Devils Tower got its name in 1875 when Colonel Dodge's translator, on a scientific survey, misinterpreted the name from the local Native Americans to mean Bad God's Tower, later shortened to Devils tower.  Some Indians call it Mato Tipila, meaning Bear Lodge.  Other Native American names include Bear's Tipi, Home of the Bear, and Tree Rock.

Mato Tipila or Devils Tower by Dakota Visions Photography LLC Black Hills www.dakotavisions.com

We hope you enjoyed the photographs from Devils Tower and the history we have shared.  We encourage you to leave a comment if you've been to Devil's Tower and even links to photographs you may have taken.  And while you are at it, join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ , or sneak a peek at our photography on Dakota Visions Photography, LLC. Until next time, we'll see you behind the lens...

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