Archive - Prayer Rock Petroglyphs

February 06, 2021

Prayer Rock Petroglyphs

Every weekend we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published February 6, 2004.

Provided by: Mike Barondeau
Summary author: Mike Barondeau

Many years ago, a glacial boulder was discovered, southeast of Mobridge, South Dakota, which weighs about five tons and has life-sized human hands etched on it. A well-beaten trail led to the site. Archeologists think Native Americans may have placed their hands in the imprints while praying. The rock was moved to the public library grounds in Ipswich, South Dakota, care being taken to orient the stone precisely as it originally lay. The sign accompanying the rock reads "Medicine or Prayer Rock." Part of the inscription mentions that this rock was a symbol of great power and venerated by the American Indians who believed it the work of the Wakan or Great Spirit. The public library in Ipswich is located on Main Street, about four blocks south of U.S. Highway 12, also known as the Yellowstone Trail.

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