Over the years, numerous Native American tribes have lived in the immediate vicinity of the Devils Tower and have thought about the origin of this strange natural monument. Each Lakota, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Crow, and Arapahoe tell legends of a mysterious bear.
The stories differ in details, but the basic idea is that one or more Native Americans have to flee from a bear. They save themselves on top of a rock and implore the Great Spirit to help them. The Great Spirit then lets the rock grow. The bear tries to reach his pray but the Native Americans are to high up. His claws streak down the rock and leave their marks there.
The story ends in each legend very differently: Sometimes girls stay on the mountain, sometimes they have turned to stars, sometimes boys get rescued by an eagle and sometimes there is no exact description of how the Native Americans were saved. However, in almost every legend, the rock was from then on the bear’s home. For this reason, the natural monument is also called ”Bear's Tipi”, ”Bear's House”, ”Bear's Lodge” or ”Home of Bears.”