LEGEND OF STANDING ROCK
A Dakota had married an Arikara woman, and by her had one child.
By and by he took another wife. The first wife was jealous and
pouted. When time came for the village to break camp she refused
to move from her place on the tent floor. The tent was taken down
but she sat on the ground with her babe on her back The rest of the
camp with her husband went on.
At noon her husband halted the line. "Go back to your
sister-in-law," he said to his two brothers. "Tell her to come on
and we will await you here. But hasten, for I fear she may grow
desperate and kill herself."
The two rode off and arrived at their former camping place in the
evening. The woman still sat on the ground. The elder spoke:
"Sister-in-law, get up. We have come for you. The camp awaits
She did not answer, and he put out his hand and touched her head.
She had turned to stone!
The two brothers lashed their ponies and came back to camp. They
told their story, but were not believed. "The woman has killed
herself and my brothers will not tell me," said the husband.
However, the whole village broke camp and came back to the place
where they had left the woman. Sure enough, she sat there still,
a block of stone.
The Indians were greatly excited. They chose out a handsome pony,
made a new travois and placed the stone in the carrying net. Pony
and travois were both beautifully painted and decorated with
streamers and colors. The stone was thought "wakan" (holy),
and was given a place of honor in the center of the camp. Whenever
the camp moved the stone and travois were taken along. Thus the
stone woman was carried for years, and finally brought to Standing
Rock Agency, and now rests upon a brick pedestal in front of the
Agency office. From this stone Standing Rock Agency derives its