The Sioux Nation is a large group of Native American tribes that traditionally lived in the Great Plains. There are three major divisions of Sioux: Eastern Dakota, Western Dakota, and the Lakota. Many Sioux tribes were nomadic people who moved from place to place following bison (buffalo) herds.
The Sioux tribe are known for their hunting and warrior culture. They have been in conflict with the White Settlers and the US Army. Warfare became the central part of the Plains of the Indian Culture.
Today they constitute one of the largest Native American groups, living mainly on reservations in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana; the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota is the second largest in the United States.
The ancestral Sioux most likely lived in the Central Mississippi Valley region and later in Minnesota, for at least two or three thousand years. The ancestors of the Sioux arrived in the northwoods of central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin from the Central Mississippi River shortly before 800 AD.
The Sioux Indians were a family-oriented, nomadic people who spoke the Dakota language and believed in Wakan Tanka, the one god. As nomads, the Sioux Indians roamed the Great Plains, following buffalo herds and using dogs to haul their belongings. Buffalo were the Sioux’s main source of food and clothing.
Background Info: The name “sioux” is short for Nadowessioux, meaning “little snakes”, which was a spiteful nickname given to them by the Ojibwe, their longtime foe. The fur traders abbreviated this name to Sioux and is now commonly used. The Sioux were the dominant tribe in Minnesota in the 17th century.
The Sioux were a deeply spiritual people, believing in one all-pervasive god, Wakan Tanka, or the Great Mystery. Religious visions were cultivated and the people communed with the spirit world through music and dance.
Enemies of the Sioux were the French, Ojibway, Assinibone, and the Kiowa Indians. One of the allies of the Sioux were the Arikara.
Common boy names associated with the tribe were; Chatan (Hawk), Chayton (Falcon), Hanska (Tall), Hotah (Strong), Mahkah (Earth), Mato (Bear), Tashunka (Horse), Wambleeska (White eagle), Akecheta (Warrior), Chaska (Eldest son), Makhpia Luta (Red Cloud), Tatanka Ptecila (Little Bull), and Wapasha (Red leaf).
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. One of the most compelling stories of the Wild West is the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother, who was kidnapped at age 9 by Comanches and assimilated into the tribe.
CLASS. For the Sioux nation, religion is an integral part of daily life. The Sioux’s world view, like that of a number of other indigenous peoples, embraces shamanism, animism and polytheism.
The so-called Plains Wars essentially ended later in 1876, when American troops trapped 3,000 Sioux at the Tongue River valley; the tribes formally surrendered in October, after which the majority of members returned to their reservations.
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.
The Black Hills were a hunting ground and sacred territory of the Western Sioux Indians. At least portions of the region were also sacred to other Native American peoples—including the Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho—and the area had also been inhabited by the Crow.
What did the Sioux Indians look like? The Sioux Indians skin color was a light brown to deep brown. Most Sioux were tall and thin. Boys and girls, men and women wore their hair long and in braids.