Lakota (Lakȟótiyapi), also referred to as Lakhota, Teton or Teton Sioux, is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes.
Written Sioux Lakota was first written by European and American missionaries in about 1840. Since then a number of way to write the language have been developed. The most commonly-used one was developed for the New Lakota Dictionary, which was published in 2008 by the Lakota Language Consortium.
The Sioux language is still spoken daily by more than 26,000 Sioux in Northern Nebraska, Southern Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Northeastern Montana, and two provences in Canada. The three major groups of Sioux were known as the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota, which each consisted of several smaller tribes.
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.
All the Sioux Indians lived in what is now North and South Dakota. They were the people of Sitting Bull, enemies to outsiders, people and friends among themselves. Their language was called Siouan. They used sign language to communicate with other tribes.
The term “Sioux” is an exonym created from a French transcription of the Ojibwe term “Nadouessioux “, and can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or to any of the nation’s many language dialects.
In Sioux, hello is hau, pronounced /how/; however, it is a greeting only used by males. The equivalent used by females is han.
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).
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 term Siouan is the adjective denoting the “Sioux” Indians and cognate tribes. The word “Sioux” has been variously and vaguely used. Originally it was a corruption of a term expressing enmity or contempt, applied to a part of the plains tribes by the forest-dwelling Algonquian Indians.
A Native American girl is called Native American or Indiginous. To be more correct, use her Tribal affiliation e.g. Lakota, Cheyenne, Hopi etc. Each tribal language has a word or more for a girl as well.
Enemies of the Sioux were the French, Ojibway, Assinibone, and the Kiowa Indians. One of the allies of the Sioux were the Arikara.
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.
‘Wakan Tanka’ literally means ‘great mystery’. The Sioux tribe believed in spirits which could bring good or evil to their tribe. They feared floods, believing that the waves were evil spirits. Unlike the white settlers, the Sioux only killed animals for food.
Many tribes have sub-tribes, bands, gens, clans and phratry. Often very little information is known or they no longer exist. Anoginajin A band of the Wakpaatonwedan division of the Mdewakanton, named from its chief.
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.