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The Sioux Indian Tribe Essay, Research Paper

The Sioux Indian Tribe


The Sioux would hunt most of their food. Mainly they ate deer because the lived in the Dakota areas and Minnesota, they also hunted buffalo when they were pushed more into the west by their rival tribes. But usually lived on small game, deer, and wild rice. They like to eat berries such as black berry and vegetables such as spinach leaves, and peas. They ate nuts that grew on pine trees called pinion nuts. But like most indians they used every thing from the food. The Sioux were great framers and scavenger. They framed corn and scavenger wild rice, and roots.


The language of the Sioux was one of the biggest thing in there tribe, because when the would use dialect, to communicate they changed the way the usually would speak in the Sisseton, a Wahpeton, were the original seven council words, and these are the seven fine words, to know the Sioux Chiefs. When some of the tribes moved south and west, there were changes in dialect and traditional customs. Three divisions are now recognized by most authorities as the Santee (Isanyati, dweller at the Knife Lake), the Middle Dakota, and the Teton. The three dialects are Dakota, Nakota and Lakota. Dakota and Lakota are still widely used, but the Nakota dialect is almost out of use.

Origin of the Name

The word “Sioux” was given to all of them by the French who had corrupted the name “Nataweiwak” from the Chippewa. The Chippewa word referred to the Sioux as enemies and meant “enemy” or “snake”. This name was given to them when they resided in the western Great Lakes region. The name they called themselves was “Dakota” which means “friend” or “ally”.

The Great Sioux Nation

“Our nation is melting away like the snow on the sides of the hills where the sun is warm, he once told the white, while your people are like blades of grass in the spring when summer is coming.” Red Cloud

Other Information You Care To Share

+ In 1750 the Sioux comprised of some 30000 people firmly established in the heartland of the northern Great Plains, they dominated that region for the next century.

+ According to old Sioux traditions, a young man must earn his adult name before courting.

+ To attract a woman, he might make a musical instrument from a birds wing or a piece of wood. He played the instrument to impress the girl he loved.

+ During the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890, over 300 Sioux Indians were killed.

+ The band council was the main governmental body in the Sioux camps. Each camp had a messenger to announce the decisions that the council voted on.

+ In 1870 Red Cloud journeyed to Washington D.C. eight times to negotiate Sioux interests.

+ The eagle feathers on a war bonnet signified acts of daring and courage in a battle.

+ One lodge like theirs could last for 7-8 years.

+ To become a akicita (lodge soldiers) you had to be a warrior and killed, scalped an enemy or rescue a friend. It was all so impressive if he refrained from speaking to women. (except his sister) Until he had completed all these acts of courage.

+ If you were able to go in and out of an enemy s camp circle, he was awarded a warbonnet.

If you frightened the game on a war hunt you were whipped and your tipi and belongs were cut to pieces

Male/Female Roles

In the Sioux Tribe male and females had equally important roles. Each person had set duties and accomplished them daily, this is what kept the family unit together and made things run smoothly.

The male role consistent of mainly providing and protecting the family. The boys were trained to hunt, be worriers or in some cases medicine men. The men made all of the weapons for hunting or war and the women did not touch these items. As far as providing for the family he was also expected to marry his brother’s wife and take care of her family if his brother died.

The woman role in the tribe was very important. Girls were trained to prepare the shelter and gather food. Also she was responsible for making and caring for the shelter. Pulled rushes, cut wood, gathered wild rice, cut grass, cooking, tanned skins, made and repaired moccasins and clothing, made mats, dug roots, and dressed meats were also the women s job. The wife was the owner of the lodge and if the occasion arose, she could throw her husband out. The women of the tribe were well treated and highly honored because she did all the work except hunting, fishing, and fighting.

Together men and women shared chores, such as making cradles, paddles, canoes, bowls and spoons. There was very little quarreling in the families.

Famous Persons

One of the most famous person in the Sioux Nation is Red Cloud. He was a great leader and a interesting person. According to one story a meteorite roared over Sioux territory the night he was born, leaving a trial of red clouds behind it. Many Sioux babies born that winter were named Red Cloud. Another story claims that Red Cloud as a boy had his grandfathers name, Two Arrows. When he was about nineteen years old, he led a Sioux war party in a battle against an enemy tribe. The Sioux warriors were wearing scarlet blankets over their shoulders that day. As they swept down a hill side on their rushing ponies, they looked like an advancing red cloud, and the frightened enemy turned and fled.

Red Cloud was the first Indian to fight and win the white people. But after the civil war, the white man came back and defended him and his troops.



Two young men were out strolling one night talking of love affairs. They passed around a hill and came to a little ravine or coulee. Suddenly they saw coming up from the ravine a beautiful woman. She was painted and her dress was of the very finest material.

“What a beautiful girl!” said one of the young men. “Already I love her. I will steal her and make her my wife.”

“No,” said the other. “Don’t harm her. She may be holy.”

The young woman approached and held out a pipe which she first offered to the sky, then to the earth and then advanced, holding it out in her extended hands.

“I know what you young men have been saying; one of you is good; the other is wicked,” she said.

She laid down the pipe on the ground and at once became a buffalo cow. The cow pawed the ground, stuck her tail straight out behind her and then lifted the pipe from the ground again in her hoofs; immediately she became a young woman again.

“I am come to give you this gift,” she said. “It is the peace pipe. Hereafter all treaties and ceremonies shall be performed after smoking it. It shall bring peaceful thoughts into your minds. You shall offer it to the Great Mystery and to mother earth.”

The two young men ran to the village and told.


A Dakota had married an Arikara woman, and by her had one child. By and by he took another wife. The first wife was jealous and pouted. When time came for the village to break camp she refused to move from her place on the tent floor. The tent was taken down but she sat on the ground with her babe on her back The rest of the camp with her husband went on.

At noon her husband halted the line. “Go back to your sister-in-law,” he said to his two brothers. “Tell her to come on and we will await you here. But hasten, for I fear she may grow desperate and kill herself.”

The two rode off and arrived at their former camping place in the evening. The woman still sat on the ground. The elder spoke:

“Sister-in-law, get up. We have come for you. The camp awaits you.”

She did not answer, and he put out his hand and touched her head. She had turned to stone!

The two brothers lashed their ponies and came back to camp. They told their story, but were not believed. “The woman has killed herself and my brothers will not tell me,” said the husband. However, the whole village broke camp and came back to the place where they had left the woman. Sure enough, she sat there still, a block of stone.

The Indians were greatly excited. They chose out a handsome pony, made a new travois and placed the stone in the carrying net. Pony and travois were both beautifully painted and decorated with streamers and colors. The stone was thought “wakan” (holy), and was given a place of honor in the center of the camp. Whenever the camp moved the stone and travois were taken along. Thus the stone woman was carried for years, and finally brought to Standing Rock Agency, and now rests upon a brick pedestal in front of the Agency office. From this stone Standing Rock Agency derives its name.

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