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Missionary Life Among the Dakota Indians

By Mrs. J.F. Cross It is hard to get the most interesting experiences of a missionary’s life, because they belong to the daily routine and so are often unmentioned. But here is a description of life and travel among the Indians, by the wife of a missionary just going to the Dakotas: The land of the Dakotas—what a distance! How long the miles seemed from my home! How frightful the land seemed to me, from the tales of blizzards and cyclones! How strange to go to live among the Sioux Indians, known to me principally for the Minnesota, Fort Fetterman and Custer massacres; to be a friend to Sitting Bull, Brave Bull, Gall, Grass, Swift Bear, Red Cloud and many others with names no less picturesque! With such impressions I left my home to accompany my husband to his home and work at Rosebud Agency, South Dakota. I was soon relieved of the idea of the distance, for only a few hours took us across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the border of Dakota. Here we left the railroad to attend the general conference of the Dakota Mission at Flandreau. How quickly all the impressions of years can be changed, when the impressions are wrong and we see the true state of affairs. In this case, seeing hundreds of bronzed faces, lighted up with joy, as they sung “I hear Thy welcome voice” in their own tongue, there was enough to change all my former opinions of Indians in general and of the Dakota Indians in particular. It was like coming into a new world. That is,...

Dakota Indian Bands, Gens and Clans

Many tribes have sub-tribes, bands, gens, clans and phratry.  Often very little information is known or they no longer exist.  We have included them here to provide more information about the tribes. Black Tiger. A Dakota band of 22 lodges, named from its chief; one of the bands not brought into Ft Peck agency in 1872. H. R. Ex. Doc. 96, 42d Cong., 3d sess., 15, 1873. Cazazhita A Dakota division, under chief Shonka, or Dog; probably a part of the Teton, or perhaps the same as Broken Arrows and Wannawega. Chanshushka (box elder) An unidentified division of the Dakota. Chantapeta’s Band. A Dakota division, probably a part or all of the Hunkpapa, so called from their chief, commonly known as Fire Heart. H. R. Ex. Doc. 117, 19th Cong., 1st sess., 6, 1826. Chasmuna (sandy). An unidentified Dakota division. Chihupa (jawbone band). A former Dakota band under Sishhola, or Barefoot. Congewichacha (wichacha= ‘man’). A Dakota division, possibly of the Teton. Cf. Kanghiyuha. Esahateaketarpar (‘toward the Santee’, from Isanyate Santee, ektapa ‘toward’). A division of the Brule Dakota which had Tartonggarsarpar (Tatónka-tsapa, Black Buffalo Bull) for its principal chief in 1804. Fire Lodge. One of the former Dakota bands below L. Traverse, Minn. Ind. Aff. Rep. 1859, 102, 1860. Forked Horn. One of the Dakota bands below L. Traverse, Minn.; probably Wahpeton or Sisseton. Ind. Aff. Rep., 102, 1859. Gens du Large (French: wandering people ). One of the two divisions of the Dakota, as given by Long (Exped. St Peters r., i, 380, 1824), comprising the following tribes: Kahra (a Sisseton band), Miakechakesa (Sisseton), Tetoans (Teton), Wahkpakota (Wahpekute),...

Arkansas Indian Tribe

Editor’s Note: Arkansas is a name by which the Quapaw tribe were recorded in history. None of the numerous Algonkin tribes lived in the immediate neighborhood of the Maskoki family of Indians, but of the Dakotan stock the Arkansas (originally Ákansä the Akansea of Father Gravier), dwelt in close proximity, and had frequent intercourse with this Southern nation. Pénicaut relates1 that the French commander, Lemoyne d Iberville, sailed up the Mississippi river, and sixty leagues above the mouth of the Yazoo found the mouth of the Arkansas River; eight leagues above, on the same western shore, was the nation of the Arkansas, and in their town were two other “nations,” called Torimas and Kappas. By these warlike and hunting tribes he was received in a friendly manner. The men are described as stout and thick-set (gros et trapus), the women as pretty and light-complexioned. Imahao, another Arkansas village, is mentioned in Margry IV, 179. The affluent of the Mississippi on which the Arkansas were settled was, according to D. Coxe, Carolana, p. 11, the Ousoutowy River: another name for Arkansas river. From Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, who makes a special study of all the Dakota tribes, I obtained the following oral information, founded on his personal intercourse with individuals of the Kappa tribe: “Ákansa is the Algonkin name by which the Kápa, Quápa were called by the eastern Indians, as Illinois, etc. They call themselves Ugaχpa and once lived in four villages, two of which were on Mississippi, two on Arkansas river, near its mouth: Their towns, though now transferred to the Indian Territory, northeastern angle, have preserved the...

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