The Lakota (Western Sioux) people live on five reservations in South and North Dakota in a region of geographic diversity and climatic fluctuation. On the open plains, mixed grasses cover rolling hills interrupted by sand hills, badlands, buttes, and canyons formed by the Missouri River and its tributaries.
They reside near the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. The Lakota were one of the original native Americans tribes, who lived and hunted all over the Rocky Mountain ranges before the arrival of European travellers.
The lifestyle the Sioux had was being free on the Plains. They grew corn, collected choke-berries and potatoes, and hunted meat on horseback across prairies, flatland, steppes, and grasslands. There were not many trees or mountains and the Sioux were always looking for water so they camped near rivers and streams.
How they adapted to the environment: The Lakota Sioux used horses to catch and hunt buffalo. Since the Lakota didn’t grow crops they traded their buffalo meat for corn. In the winter when it got to cold the Lakota moved to more protected and forested areas.
The Sioux are a confederacy of several tribes that speak three different dialects, the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. The Lakota, also called the Teton Sioux, are comprised of seven tribal bands and are the largest and most western of the three groups, occupying lands in both North and South Dakota.
The words Lakota and Dakota, however, are translated to mean “friend” or “ally” and is what they called themselves. Many Lakota people today prefer to be called Lakota instead of Sioux, as Sioux was a disrespectful name given to them by their enemies. There are seven bands of the Lakota tribe.
Quahadis were the hardest, fiercest, least yielding component of a tribe that had long had the reputation as the most violent and warlike on the continent; if they ran low on water, they were known to drink the contents of a dead horse’s stomach, something even the toughest Texas Ranger would not do.
Subdivisions Lakota (also known as Lakȟóta, Thítȟuŋwaŋ, Teton, and Teton Sioux ) Northern Lakota (Húŋkpapȟa, Sihásapa) Western Dakota (also known as Yankton – Yanktonai or Dakȟóta, and erroneously classified, for a very long time, as ” Nakota “) Yankton (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋ) Eastern Dakota (also known as Santee -Sisseton or Dakhóta)
The Lakota farmed and hunted, but their primary source of food was meat. They followed buffalo herds and used the meat and animal products for food, clothing, tools and shelter. They hunted elk and deer or any other animals they could find when the herds of larger game were scarce.
There are 13 Sioux political subdivisions, combined into seven major tribes (the Mdewakanton, Sisseton, Teton, Wahpekute, Wahpeton, Yankton, and Yanktonai Sioux tribes.)
There are about 150,000 Sioux.
Most of their diet was meat, especially buffalo, elk and deer, which they cooked in pits or dried and pounded into pemmican. The Lakota also collected chokecherries, fruit, and potatoes to eat.
Today, the Lakota are found mostly in the five reservations of western South Dakota: Rosebud Indian Reservation, home of the Upper Sičhánǧu or Brulé. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglála. Lower Brule Indian Reservation, home of the Lower Sičhaŋǧu.
The land is covered by huge areas of grasslands, rolling hills, and flowing streams. The Lakota used the natural resources from this dry environment to meet their basic needs. In the past, they hunted buffalo and antelope, grew crops such as maize, beans, and pumpkins, and gathered wild berries and fruits.
Overview. The Lakota believe that everything has a spirit; including trees, rocks, rivers, and almost every natural being. This therefore leads to the belief in the existence of an afterlife.