This oil painting by Herbert A. Collins has hung in the Devils Tower National Monument Visitor Center since 1937, and is the only original exhibit piece that remains on display today. The painting depicts an American Indian legend of the tower's genesis. Over 20 American Indian tribes have traditional associations with the tower, and many tribes believe that the tower's cracks are the scratches of a bear that clawed at its sides as the tower rose from the earth. In the Kiowa legend, for example, seven little girls were chased by a bear and jumped onto a rock. One of the girls prayed for the rock to save them. The rock began to grow upwards, pushing the girls higher and higher. When the bear jumped and attempted to reach the girls, it scratched the rock.


  • Title: Devils Tower Bear Legend
  • Creator: Herbert A. Collins
  • Contributor: Devils Tower National Monument
  • Photographer: Dan Fairchild
  • Park Website: Park Website
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: DETO 18
  • Measurements: L 135.9, W 103.5 cm
  • Material: Oil on canvas
  • Date: 1937

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