DEVILS TOWER, WY.- Devils Tower opened its new interpretive site Tribal Connections and unveiled the World Peace Sculpture Wind Circle. The new site provides a venue for ranger programs discussing the connections with more than 20 affiliated tribes and the Tower. The centerpiece of the Tribal Connections interpretive site is the world peace sculpture, Wind Circle, which has been donated to the park by internationally renowned Japanese sculptor, Junkyu Muto.
The new interpretive site addresses improvement of educational and informational programs of the historic uses of the Monument as defined in the 1995 Final Climbing Management Plan. The Monuments new Chief of Interpretation, Hugh Hawthorne, will be arriving in mid-September from Carlsbad Caverns and is looking forward to developing new programs through consultation with the affiliated tribes.
The event included the unveiling of the world peace sculpture by Mr. Muto, tribal drum groups from Pine Ridge and Northern Cheyenne, Wind River tribal dancers, local western singers (Lorrie Redfield and Shana Jahnig), Japanese Taiko drummers and singers. Chief Arvol Looking Horse presented information on his world peace and prayer day activities for which he was recently honored by the United Nations. Local Lakota artisan, Sandy Swallow, who has worked extensively with the Monument this past year through painting of the national Christmas tree decoration for the park and designing of the limited edition Pendleton blanket for this event was also on the agenda.
The Wind Circle sculpture at the Monument is the 3rd of Mr. Mutos world peace project. The 1st sculpture was placed at the Vatican in 2000, while the 2nd was placed near the Bodhi Tree in Bodhi Gaya, India in 2005. It is anticipated that 4-6 more sculptures will be placed at other significant sites throughout the world.
The local placement of the world peace sculpture has been an effort of the entire Black Hills community: Crazy Horse Memorial donated the base stones for the sculpture, Black Hills National Forest delivered the stones from Crazy Horse to the Monument, and Box Elder Job Corp students will provide refreshments for the reception following the ceremony.