Some subjects are so well known, so iconic, and have been photographed so much it becomes next to impossible to do something different, unique. Here are attempts to do so at two of America's most noted symbols, Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota and Devils Tower in Wyoming.
I had been prepared to not be impressed with Mt. Rushmore. But there it is, an amazing sculpture, a great work of art. Unfortunately, most Native Americans consider it to be an insult, an offensive symbol of power and greed in a Sioux sacred place. The Heart of Everything that is. As History tells us, the Sioux had been deeded the Black Hills in the Treaty of 1868. But when George Custer's first expedition to the area in 1874 discovered gold, the Treaty was torn up. We know how that worked out for Custer two years later, and for the Sioux later that same year.
I was prepared to be affected at Devils Tower, and I was. Another sacred place for Native Americans, the place where White Buffalo Woman delivered the first sacred pipe to the Lakota People. This sculpture by Japanese artist Junkyu Muto, titled The Circle of Sacred Smoke, is one of Muto's International Peace Project pieces, which are placed in spiritually significant places around the world.