You are on page 1of 6

SIOUX

TRIBE NAME:
The word Sioux is actually a French term that translates as enemy. Although Sioux has now become a widely recognized name for a particular Native American Indian tribe it was a title given to them by the invaders. The Sioux people prefer to call themselves as Lakota. Basically the Sioux people, as they have come to be known, were divided into various different tribes. Some of the most prominent tribes that made up the Sioux nation include Oglala, Brule, Sans Arcs, Hunkpapa, Yankton, Minnwkonjou, Sisseton, Mdewakantonwan and Wahpeton. The Sioux Nation was comprised in 3 major sub-division: LAKOTA OR TETON with Seven Bands: Oglala They Scatter Their Own or Dust Scatters Sicangu or Brule: Burnt Thighs Hunkpapa End of the Circle Miniconjous Planters Beside the Stream Sihasapa or Blackfeet: NOTE not the commonly known Blackfeet/Blackfoot Tribe Itazipacola or Sans Arcs: Without Bows; also known as Oohenupa/Two Boilings or Two Kettles

THE DAKOTA OR SANTEE - with Four Bands: Mdeakantonwon: Wahpeton Wahpekute Sisseton THE NAKOTA OR YANKTON with Three Bands:

Yankton Upper Yankton

HISTORY:
EARLY HISTORY: Lower YankThe Dakotas are first recorded to have resided at the source of the Mississippi river during the seventeenth century.[9] By 1700 some of them relocated to present-day South Dakota.[10] Late in the 17th century, the Dakota entered into an alliance with French merchants.[11] The French were trying to gain advantage in the struggle for the North American fur trade against the English, who had recently established the Hudson's Bay Company. RED CLOUDS WAR OF 1862: Red Cloud's War (also referred to as the Bozeman War) was an armed conflict between the Lakota and the United States in the Wyoming Territory and the Montana Territory from 1866 to 1868. The war was fought over control of the Powder River Country in north central Wyoming, which lay along the Bozeman Trail, a primary access route to the Montana gold fields. The war is named after Red Cloud, a prominent Oglala chief who led the war against the United States following encroachment into the area by the U.S. military. The war ended with the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The Sioux victory in the war led to their temporarily preserving their control of the Powder River country. GREATE SIOUX WAR: The Great Sioux War comprised a series of battles between the Lakota and allied tribes such as the Cheyenne against the United States military. The earliest engagement was the Battle of Powder River, and the final battle was the Wolf Mountain. Included are the Battle of the Rosebud, Battle of the Little Bighorn, Battle of Warbonnet Creek, Battle of Slim Buttes, Battle of Cedar Creek, and the Dull Knife Fight. WOUNDED KNEE MASSACRE: The massacre at Wounded Knee Creek was the last major armed conflict between the Lakota and the United States. It was described as a "massacre" by General Nelson A. Miles in a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.[17]

On December 29, 1890, five hundred troops of the U.S. 7th Cavalry, supported by four Hotchkiss guns (a lightweight artillery piece capable of rapid fire), surrounded an encampment of the Lakota bands of the Miniconjou and Hunkpapa [18] with orders to escort them to the railroad for transport to Omaha, Nebraska. By the time it was over, 25 troopers and more than 150 Lakota Sioux lay dead, including men, women, and children. Some of the soldiers are believed to have been the victims of "friendly fire" because the shooting took place at point-blank range in chaotic conditions.[19] Around 150 Lakota are believed to have fled the chaos, many of whom may have died from hypothermia.

CULTURE:
A nomadic people, the Sioux of the 1800's existed by hunting food and gathering materials off the land, living in close harmony with their environment. They inhabited a region covering the States of Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska South Dakota and Wyoming, with the Ogallala living in the Southwest. Various animals, which grazed the terrain, provided the Indian with his food, clothing, tools, and transportation. For example, the buffalo provided not only meat but also hides for lodgings (tepees) and clothing. The animal's bones were used for scrapers, needles, and arrowheads and glue was made from the hoofs. Originally sedentary farmers in the South-eastern States of South Carolina and Georgia, the introduction of the horse into North America by the Spanish radically changed their culture. In the early 1700s, the Sioux adopted the horse as their primary means of transportation, abandoned the farmer's life and began a gradual migration to the Plains, becoming predators. A short stout bow easily shot from horseback, became a necessity. The most fascinating item of the display is the authentic quiver and bow case. Made from two separate pieces of hand leather, probably deer or antelope, they are laced together with hide strips and decorated with red felt, white, yellow, blue and brown trade beads, red dyed horse hair and small iron bells. The beads, bells, and felt are all trade items. While the Sioux were known to be great warriors, the family was considered the key unit of Sioux life. Children, called "Wakanisha" (Waka meaning sacredness) were of primary importance to the Sioux family and were therefore the center of attention.

While monogamy was the norm, Indian men had the ability to take on more than one wife. The roles of men and women were clearly defined. While the men were expected to provide for and defend the family by hunting and making war, the women were the

matriarchs, ruling the family life and the domestic life of the tepee. When a man married a Sioux woman, it was expected that he would move into her home.

LANGUAGE:
The Sioux comprise three closely related language groups:

1. Eastern Dakota (a.k.a. Santee-Sisseton or Dakhta) * Santee (Isythi: Bdewkhathuwa, Wapkhute) * Sisseton (Sisthuwa, Wapthuwa) 2. Western Dakota (a.k.a. Yankton-Yanktonai or Dakta) * Yankton (Ihktuwa) * Yanktonai (Ihktuwana) 3. Lakota (a.k.a. Lakta, Teton, Teton Sioux)

The earlier linguistic three-way division of the Sioux language identified Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota as dialects of a single language, where Lakota = Teton, Dakota = SanteeSisseton and Nakota = Yankton-Yanktonai.[7] However, the latest studies [4][24] show that Yankton-Yanktonai never used the autonym Nakhta, but pronounced their name roughly the same as the Santee (i.e. Dakta).

These later studies identify Assiniboine and Stoney as two separate languages, with Sioux being the third language. Sioux has three similar dialects: Lakota, Western Dakota (Yankton-Yanktonai) and Eastern Dakota (Santee-Sisseton). Assiniboine and Stoney speakers refer to themselves as Nakhta or Nakhda[4] (cf. Nakota).

The term Dakota has also been applied by anthropologists and governmental departments to refer to all Sioux groups, resulting in names such as Teton Dakota, Santee Dakota, etc. This was mainly because of the misrepresented translation of the Ottawa word from which Sioux is derived.[8]

LANDMARKS:
Today, the Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations, communities, and reserves in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Montana in the United States; and Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan in Canada.

CEREMONIES:
The Sioux were a deeply spiritual people, who communed with the spirit world through music and dance. The Sun Dance was considered one of the most religious ceremonies of the Sioux. This twelve-day summer ritual of self-sacrifice was a testimony to individual courage and endurance in serving the Great Spirit. As a shared experience among men, the Sun Dance also instilled a sense of tribal unity. By dancing and enduring the pain of self-inflicted wounds, each participant reasserted his identity as an Indian warrior. Going on the war path was part of a rite of passage for males. War was the underlying principle of the Sioux people, because through it men gained prestige, and their prestige was reflected in the family honor.

LEADER:
The famous Indian, Chief Rain-in-the-Face once suffered a great humiliation at the hands of Captain Tom Custer, brother of General George Custer. He swore vengeance, and made a boast that one day he would cut out Tom Custer's heart. Rain-in-the-Face had to wait two years to make good his threat, but then on June 25, 1876, at the Battle of Little Bighorn he had his day. In telling about it later, he said, "I had sung the war song, I had smelt power smoke, my heart was bad--I was like one who had no mind. I rushed in and took their flag; my pony fell dead as I took it. I cut the thong that bound me; I jumped up and brained the sword flag man with my war club, and ran back to our line with the flag. I was mad. I got a fresh pony and rushed back, shooting, cutting and slashing. This pony was shot and I got another. This time I saw Little Hair (Tom Custer)--I remembered my vow. I was crazy; I feared nothing. I knew nothing would hurt me, for I had my white weasel tail on. I don't know how many I killed trying to get at him. He knew me. I laughed at him and yelled at him. I saw his mouth move, but there was so much noise I couldn't hear his voice. He was afraid. When I got near enough I shot him with my revolver. My gun was gone, I didn't know where. I got back on my pony and rode off. I was satisfied and sick of fighting."

For the Sioux, the title of Chief was viewed as a medal earned for outstanding performance during times of war or peace. To be Chief was considered an honorary title. It did not mean, however, that the Chief was solely "in charge" of his people. Rather than a linear chain of command, the Indians traditionally ruled by unanimous vote of a council of Chiefs of "Headmen" from a variety of bands. Decisions made by the council served to guide rather than command the people.