INTRODUCTION:Horse-mounted Indians, wearing long eagle-feathered warbonnets and fringed leather clothing with colorful beadwork, ride across the grasslands of the GreatPlains. They hunt buffalo. They fight the cavalry. They sit in council inside painted tipis, wearing buffalo robes and smoking long-stemmed peace pipes. Theseimages of Indians have been shown to us again and again, in books, movies and television shows about the West. These images, more likely than not, depict the Sioux, more properly referred to by the Native name, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota.Two of the most famous incidents in Indian and American history--Custer's Last Stand (also called the Battle of Little Bighorn) and Wounded Knee--involved the Sioux. The numerous Sioux fought many other battles against the U.S. army on thenorthern plains. Some of the most famous Indian fighters in history, such as RedCloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse, were Sioux. And one of the most famous incidents in recent Indian history occured on a Sioux reservation, again at Wounded Knee.BRANCHES OF SIOUX:The Sioux are really made up of different groups with varying histories and customs. In studying the Sioux, the first challenge is to learn the various names and locations of the different bands.Siouan was a widespread Indian language family. Tribes in many parts of North American spoke Siouan dialects. The tribal name Sioux, pronounced SUE, is applied only to a specific division of Siouan-speaking people, however. The nameis derived from the French version of a CHIPPEA (OJIBWAY) word in the Algonquianlanguage. The Chippewa tribe called their enemies Nadouessioux for "adders," a kind of snake. The Sioux also are known collectively (especially in Canada) as the Dakota (pronounced da-KO-tah), from which has come the names of two U.S. states, North and South Dakota. In Siouan language, Dakota (or Lakota or Nakota)means "allies."There were four ancestral branches of Sioux, with different bands in each. The largest branch was the Teton (or Titonwan), with the following bands: (1) Oglala; (2) Brul(Siacangu); (3) Hunkpapa; (4) Miniconjou; (5) Oohenonpa (Two �Kettle); (6) Itazipco (San Arcs); and (7) Sihasapa.A second branch was the Santee, with the following bands: (1) Sisswton; (2) Wahpeton; (3) Wahpekute; and (4) Mdewakanton. (The term Sauntee used historically more accurately applies to just the Wahpekute and Mdewakanton groups, not Sisseton and Wahpeton as well. In any case, all four are considered distinct dialect groups.)A third brach was the Yankton (or Ihanktonwan), with only one band, the Yankton.A fourth branch was the Yankonai (or Ihanktonwanna), with the following bands: (1) Yanktonai; (2) Hunkpatina; and (3) Assiniboine. The ASSINIBOINE separated from their relatives and are discussed under their own entry.The Teton use the Lakota cersion of the tribal name; the Sauntee say Dakota; andthe Yankton and Yanktonai use Nakota.
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- Fall '15
- History, Lakota people, Sioux, Crazy Horse