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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Malta in Phillips County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Sleeping Buffalo Rock

 
 
Sleeping Buffalo Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
1. Sleeping Buffalo Rock Marker
Inscription.  Montana's native people revere this boulder that once perched high atop a wind-swept ridge overlooking the Cree Crossing on the Milk River. The ancient weather-worn effigy resembled the leader of a herd of reclining buffalo in an outcrop of gray granite. Ancient markings define its horns, eyes, backbone and ribs. Since late prehistoric times, native people of the Northern Plains have honored the Sleeping Buffalo's spiritual power. Oral traditions passed down among the Cree, Chippewa, Sioux, Assiniboine (sic) and Gros Ventre as well as the more distant Blackfeet, Crow, and Northern Cheyenne tell how the "herd" fooled buffalo-hunting parties. While each tribe has its own culture and beliefs, all Montana tribes share worldview. A Chippewa-Cree elder explained, "These rocks are sacred, just like our old people." Locals claim the Sleeping Buffalo, relocated to Malta's City Park in 1932, was restless, changing positions and bellowing in the night. The Sleeping Buffalo found its final resting place in 1967 where the smaller "Medicine Rock," also collected near Cree Crossing, rejoined it in 1987. These timeless objects continue to figure prominently
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in traditional ceremonies, linking the present with the past when the power of the prairie was the buffalo.
 
Erected by Montana Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
 
Location. 48° 28.194′ N, 107° 32.97′ W. Marker is near Malta, Montana, in Phillips County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 2 and County Road 243, on the left when traveling east on U.S. 2. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Malta MT 59538, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. The Long, Long Trail (here, next to this marker).
 
Sleeping Buffalo Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
2. Sleeping Buffalo Rock Marker
The marker is on the left. Sleeping Buffalo and Medicine Rocks are in the shelter.
Sleeping Buffalo Rock is in front of the Medicine Rock image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 15, 2019
3. Sleeping Buffalo Rock is in front of the Medicine Rock
The offering on top of the rocks is tobacco.
Medicine Rock image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Trip Advisor
4. Medicine Rock
Sleeping Buffalo Rock image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Trip Advisor
5. Sleeping Buffalo Rock
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 908 times since then and 234 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 23, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Jul. 21, 2024