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Vision Quest

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  • Enhanced outcrop in South Park

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    Enhanced outcrop cairn type, located in South Park. This is one of several cairn types located on a vision quest site. It might have been associated with a particular clan within a tribe.
    Enhanced outcrop in South Park
  • Cairn with Upright in South Park

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    Cairn with upright rock, located In South Park. As with the enhanced outcrop, it is yet another cairn type, perhaps associated with a social subset of a tribe.
    Cairn with Upright in South Park
  • East facing arc in South Park

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    Arc feature in South Park, opening to the east. This is a typical arc, most likely associated with the vision quest ritual.
    East facing arc in South Park
  • Southeast facing arc in South Park

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    Arc feature in South Park, opening to the southeast. Another typical arc, associated with the vision quest. Its orientation is slightly different than the previous photograph, but the reason is unknown.
    Southeast facing arc in South Park

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References: 

Stuart W. Conner, “The Vision Quest Experience,” Archaeology in Montana 23 (1982).

Dale Fredlund, “Vision Quest Sites and Structures,” in River Basin Survey Paper, no. 39 and Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 198 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1967).

Alfred L. Kroeber, The Arapaho (First published in three parts in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History in 1902, 1904 and 1907; Repr. Lincoln: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, 1983).

Robert H. Lowie, Indians of the Plains (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1954).

Edward A. Schneider, William W. Martin, William M. Harding, Jason D. Marmor, Rick Weathermon, and Bruce R. McClelland, Blowing in the Wind: A Class III Cultural Resource Inventory of Foote Creek Rim, Carbon County, Wyoming, unpublished manuscript (Laramie, WY: Mariah Associates, 1995).

David Schwab, “The Sweetgrass Hills: Cultural Landmarks on the Northwestern Plains,” Archaeology in Montana 35 (1994).

Additional Information: 

Ruth Fulton Benedict, “The Vision in Plains Culture,” American Anthropologist 24 (January-March 1922).

Warren L. D’Azevedo, ed., Handbook of North American Indians, Plains 13 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2001).

Steven Foster, “Vision Quest,” Encyclopedia of the Great Plains (2011), ed. David J. Wishart.

Monica M. Weimer, “The Enduring Quest for a Clear Vision of the Past: Interpreting Aboriginal Stone Features on Two Archaeological Sites in South Park, Colorado,” Plains Anthropologist 54 (November 2009).

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