“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lovell in Big Horn County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Medicine Wheel

Stone Circles

Medicine Wheel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
1. Medicine Wheel Marker
Caption: (upper left) Photo take in 1922.
Inscription. Thousands of stone circles lie scattered over the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains. What were they used for?
Over 100 of these stone circles are known as Medicine Wheels. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is probably the most well known and sacred to most American Indian people. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel was formed by laying rocks in a circle approximately eighty feet in diameter with twenty-eight lines or spokes radiating from the center to the outer rim. The arrangement of the stones is in the form of a "wheel."
Circles that are 12 to 18 feet in diameter were used in many cases to anchor the buffalo hide walls of teepees against the wind. Indian people also cleared off smaller plots, by casting rocks aside, creating a place to rest called "sleeping circles."
Even smaller stone rings one or two feet in diameter were used as hearths for cooking.

Side-bar, left:
"Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round. The earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, as so it is in everything where the power moves."
The circle is the essence of Native American life. The Medicine Wheel structure embodies this. It is a place where many have experienced their vision quest, a place of ritual, a place of prayer, a place of lasting vision." -- Black Elk ~ Lakota Sioux
Side-bar, right:
Many circles, like the Medicine Wheel may have ceremonial functions and ofter possess great significance to American Indian people. Federal Law protects them; please respect both the Law and the traditions beliefs of your fellow citizens.
Erected by Bighorn National Forest, Mary Alice Fortin Foundation of Florida and Big Horn Mountain Medicine Wheel Association.
Location. 44° 49.196′ N, 107° 53.948′ W. Marker is in Lovell, Wyoming, in Big Horn County. Marker can be reached from Forest Road 12 near U.S. 14A. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lovell WY 82431, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Medicine Wheel (here, next to this marker); Five Springs (approx. 0.8 miles away); Mystery Shrouds the Medicine Wheel (approx. 1.2 miles away); Bighorn Basin (approx. 2.6 miles away); Big Horn Basin (approx. 2.7 miles away); a different marker also named Medicine Wheel (approx. 2.9 miles away); Gold Fever (approx. 2.9 miles away); Reconstruction - Finally! (approx. 4.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Lovell.
More about this marker. The Medicine Wheel parking lot is at the end of Forest Service Road 12, about 22 miles east of Lovell via U.S. Highway 14A. This marker is located at the parking lot, at the base of the flagpole near the Visitors Shelter.
Categories. AnthropologyNative Americans
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 137 times since then and 79 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A mid-distance photo of this maker and its setting • Can you help?
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