The Lakota (pronounced [laˈkˣota]; Lakota: Lakȟóta/Lakhóta) are a Native American tribe. Also known as the Teton Sioux (from Thítȟuŋwaŋ), they are one of the three prominent subcultures of the Sioux people. Their current lands are in North and South Dakota.
Today, the majority of the Lakota live at the 2,782 square mile Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. The Dakota Sioux, also called the Santee Sioux, originally migrated northeast into Ohio and Minnesota.
The original Lakota homelands were in what is now Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota and South Dakota. The Lakotas traveled freely, however, and there was also significant Lakota presence in the modern states of Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and northern Illinois, and in south-central Canada.
This band was found in the upper Mississippi Region in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. There were about 20,000 Lakota in the mid 18th century, a number which has increased to about 70,000 today, of which approximately 1/3 still speak their ancestral language.
Sioux language has three dialects: Lakota, Dakota and Nakota. Lakota means “allies, friends or those who are united.” Dakota comes from the word Da meaning “considered” and Koda or “friend.” Most Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people live on South Dakota’s nine reservations.
Today, the Lakota are found mostly in the five reservations of western South Dakota: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Oglála, the most numerous of the Lakota bands.
There is no real difference. “Lakota” and “Dakota” are different pronunciations of the same tribal name, which means “the allies.” One Sioux dialect has the letter “L” in it, and the other dialect does not. Lakota and Dakota speakers all consider themselves part of the same overall culture.
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.
The Seven Lakota Values, given by the White Buffalo Calf Woman, have also suffered through the loss of language and today’s fast paced, technological lifestyle. The values include Praying, Respect, Caring and Compassion, Honesty and Truth, Generosity and Caring, Humility, and Wisdom.
Many Lakota people today prefer to be called Lakota instead of Sioux, as Sioux was a disrespectful name given to them by their enemies. Each of the reservations are home to a different branch of the Lakota people. Western South Dakota is the ideal place to experience the culture of Plains Indians.
Oglala Lakota County, contained entirely within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation, has the lowest per capita income ($8,768) in the country, and ranks as the “poorest” county in the nation.
The Clovis culture, the earliest definitively-dated Paleo-Indians in the Americas, appears around 11,500 RCBP (radiocarbon years Before Present), equivalent to 13,500 to 13,000 calendar years ago.
Wašíču is the Lakota and Dakota word for people of Western European descent. It expresses the indigenous population’s perception of the non-natives’ relationship with the land and the indigenous population. Typically it refers to white people but does not specifically mention skin color or race.
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.
The Lakota, like many other tribes of the Great Plains, lived in teepees. Generally, teepees were circular tents that could fit 4 to 6 people.