Topic: Dakota

Use Of Tobacco Among North American Indians

Tobacco has been one of the most important gifts from the New World to the Old. In spite of the attempts of various authors to prove its Old World origin there can be no doubt that it was introduced into both Europe and Africa from America. Most species of Nicotiana are native to the New World, and there are only a few species which are undoubtedly extra- American. The custom of smoking is also characteristic of America. It was thoroughly established throughout eastern North and South America at the time of the discovery; and the early explorers, from Columbus on, speak of it as a strange and novel practice which they often find it hard to describe. It played an important part in many religious ceremonies, and the beliefs and observances connected with it are in themselves proof of its antiquity. Hundreds of pipes have been found in the pre-Columbian mounds and village sites of the eastern United States and, although these remains cannot be dated, some of them must be of considerable age. In the southwestern United States the Basket Makers, an ancient people whose remains are found below those of the prehistoric Cliff Dwellers, were smoking pipes at a time which could not have been much later than the beginning of our era.

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Transportation of Plains Indians

Before the introduction of the horse, the Plains Indians traveled on foot. The tribes living along the Mississippi made some use of canoes, according to early accounts, while those of the Missouri and inland, used only crude tub-like affairs for ferry purpose. When first discovered, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara had villages on the Missouri, in what is now North Dakota, but they have never been credited with canoes. For crossing the river, they used the bull-boat, a tub-shaped affair made by stretching buffalo skins over a wooden frame; but journeys up and down the bank were made on foot. Many of the Eastern Dakota used small canoes in gathering wild rice in the small lakes of Minnesota, though the Teton-Dakota have not been credited with the practice. It seems probable that the ease of travel in the open plains and the fact that the buffalo were often to be found inland, made the use of canoes impractical, whereas along the great lakes the broad expanse of water offered every advantage to their use. Since almost every Plains tribe used some form of the bull-boat for ferrying, and many of them came in contact with canoe-using Indians, the failure of those living along the Missouri to develop the canoe can scarcely be attributed to ignorance. When on the march, baggage was carried on the human back and also by...

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Red Cloud

Far away in Wyoming lived the Sioux Indians, a fierce and warlike tribe. They called themselves Dakotas; but their enemies said that when they fought they did everything in a mean, hidden way so that it was hard to know what to expect, and they called them Sioux, which means “snake-like-ones.” To this tribe belonged a young brave who wanted very much to become a chief. His father was a fierce warrior and had taught him how to fight, but he was not satisfied to follow the leaders of his tribe, for he wanted to lead other Indians himself. When this young man was only eighteen years old he had already learned to use the bow, could ride Indian ponies and swim deep rivers, and was a great buffalo-hunter; besides, he often danced in war dances with older braves. In some way he managed to get a rifle which fired several times without reloading, and after that he began to feel of much more importance than other young Indians. At first the young braves were angry with him, but he soon showed them that he was a skillful warrior, and before long many young Indians chose him for their leader. Now he could wear an eagle feather in his war bonnet, and was a real chief. At this time Uncle Sam had promised to give each Indian a good...

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Dakota Indians

Dakota Indians. The earliest known home of this tribe was on and near the Mississippi in southern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and neighboring parts of Iowa. In 1825, after they had spread somewhat farther west, Long (1791) gives their boundaries thus: They were bounded by a curved line extending east of north from Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi, so as to include all the eastern tributaries of the Mississippi, to the first branch of Chippewa River; thence by a line running west of north to Spirit Lake; thence westwardly to Crow Wing River, Minn., and up that stream to its head; thence westwardly to Red River and down that stream to Pembina; thence southwestwardly to the eastern bank of the Missouri near the Mandan villages; thence down the Missouri to a point probably not far from Soldiers River; thence east of north to Prairie du Chien. At a later time they occupied less territory toward the east but extended much farther westward between the Yellowstone and Platte Rivers.

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Treaty of September 17, 1851

Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Laramie, in the Indian Territory, between D. D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian affairs, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent, commissioners specially appointed and authorized by the President of the United States, of the first part, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves of the following Indian nations, residing south of the Missouri River, east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of the lines of Texas and New Mexico, viz, the Sioux or Dahcotahs, Cheyennes, Arrapahoes, Crows, Assinaboines, Gros-Ventre Mandans, and Arrickaras, parties of the second part, on the seventeenth day of September, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. Article I. The aforesaid nations, parties to this treaty. having assembled for the purpose of establishing and confirming peaceful relations amongst themselves, do hereby covenant and agree to abstain in future from all hostilities whatever against each other, to maintain good faith and friendship in all their mutual intercourse, and to make an effective and lasting peace. Article II. The aforesaid nations do hereby recognize the right of the United States Government to establish roads, military and other posts, within their respective territories. Article III. In consideration of the rights and privileges acknowledged in the preceding article, the United States bind themselves to protect the aforesaid Indian nations against the commission of all depredations by the people of the said United States,...

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Santee Sioux Tribe

Santee Indians, Santee Sioux Indians (Isañyati, from isañ ‘knife,’ contraction of isañta-mde ‘knife lake,’ Dakota name for Mille Lacs, and ati, ‘to pitch tents at’ ). An eastern division of the Dakota, comprising the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute, sometimes also the Sisseton and Wahpeton. Hennepin (1680), who probably included only the Mdewakanton, says 1Hennepin, Descr. La., Shea’s trans., 203, 1880 : “In the neighborhood of Lake Buade are many other lakes, whence issue several rivers, on the banks of which live the Issati, Nadouessans, Tinthonha (which means prairie-men), Ouadebathon River People, Chongaskethon Dog, or Wolf tribe (for chonga among these nations means dog or wolf), and other tribes, all which we comprise under the name Nadouessiou [Sioux]” In Le Sueur’s list (1700) the Issati are omitted and the Mdewakanton (written Mendeoucantons) inserted, for the first time. The name Santee was applied by the Missouri River Dakota to all those of the group living on Mississippi and lower Minnesota rivers, the Mdewakanton, Wahpekute, Wahpeton, and Sisseton. Ramsey 2Ramsey in Rep. Ind. Aff. for 1849, 74, 1850 and Riggs limit the use of the term to designate the Mdewakanton. McGee 3McGee in 15th Rep. B. A. E., 160, 1897 includes only the Wahpekute, which has been the usual application of the term since 1862, when the two tribes were gathered on the Santee Rivers in Knox County, Nebraska. Reyata is mentioned as a...

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Dakota Tribe

Dakota Indians (‘allies’). The largest division of the Siouan family, known commonly as Sioux, according to Hewitt a French Canadian abbreviation of the Chippewa Nadowe-is-iw, a diminutive of nadowe, ‘an adder,’ hence ‘an enemy.’ Nadoweisiw-eg is the diminutive plural. The diminutive singular and plural were applied by the Chippewa to the Dakota, and to the Huron to distinguish them from the Iroquois proper, the true ‘adders’ or ‘enemies.’ According to Chippewa tradition the name was first applied to a body of Indians living on an island somewhere east of Detroit. Dakota, Nakota, Lakota are the names used by themselves, in the Santee, Yankton, and Teton dialects respectively. J. O. Dorsey, in his classification of the Siouan languages, divides the Dakota group into 4 dialects: Santee, Yankton, Assiniboin, and Teton. The Assiniboin, however, constitute a separate tribe. The close linguistic relation of the divisions the differences being largely dialectic indicates that they are branches of an original group, the development probably being augmented by incorporations. At the time of Long’s expedition (1825), when the bands were still near their respective localities, the country inhabited by the group was, according to him, bounded by a curved line extending east of north from Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi, so as to include all the east tributaries of the Mississippi, to the first branch of Chippewa river; thence by a line running...

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The Dakota are mentioned in the Jesuit Relations as early as 1639-40; the tradition is noted that the Ojibwa, on arriving at the Great Lakes in an early migration from the Atlantic coast, encountered representatives of the great confederacy of the plains. In 1641 the French voyageurs met the Potawatomi Indians flying from a nation called Nadawessi (enemies); and the Frenchmen adopted the alien name for the warlike prairie tribes. By 1658 the Jesuits had learned of the existence of thirty Dakota villages west-northwest from the Potawatomi mission St Michel; and in 1689 they recorded the presence of tribes apparently representing the Dakota confederacy on the upper Mississippi, near the mouth of the St Croix. According to Croghan’s History of Western Pennsylvania, the “Sue” Indians occupied the country southwest of Lake Superior about 1759; and Dr. T. S. Williamson, “the father of the Dakota mission,” states that the Dakota must have resided about the confluence of the Mississippi and the Minnesota or St Peters for at least two hundred years prior to 1860. According to traditions collected by Dorsey, the Teton took possession of the Black Hills region, which had previously been occupied by the Crow Indians, long before white men came; and the Yankton and Yanktonnai, which were found on the Missouri by Lewis and Clark, were not long removed from the region about Minnesota river. In 1862...

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The Sioux, or Dacotah

An accurate classification of the American Indians, either founded upon dissimilarities in the language of different tribes, or upon differences in physical peculiarities, is impossible, particularly in treating of the scattered and wandering people of the far west. The races vary by such slight shades of distinction, and such analogies exist between their languages, that even where the distinction is perfectly evident in the nation at large, the line of demarcation can with difficulty be drawn. In other instances, the same nation, when divided into separate clans, inhabiting districts of dissimilar nature, and resorting to different modes of life,...

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Plains Indians Use of Rawhide

The Use of Rawhide. In the use of rawhide for binding and hafting (handle or strap), the Plains tribes seem almost unique. When making mauls and stone-headed clubs a piece of green or wet hide is firmly sewed on and as this dries its natural shrinkage sets the parts firmly. This is nicely illustrated in saddles. Thus, rawhide here takes the place of nails, twine, cement, etc., in other cultures. The Partleche A number of characteristic bags were made of rawhide, the most conspicuous being the parfleche. Its simplicity of construction is inspiring and its usefulness scarcely to be...

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Social Distinction Amongst Plains Indians

Social Distinction. There being no such thing as individual ownership of land, property consisted of horses, food, utensils, etc. These were possessed in varying degrees by the individual members of a tribe, but in no case was the amount of such property given much weight in the determination of social position. Anyone in need of food, horses, or anything whatsoever, was certain to receive some material assistance from those who had an abundance. Beginning at the top, we have Bear-chief (a) on foot surprised by Assiniboin Indians but he escaped; (b) Double-runner cut loose four horses; (c) Double-runner captures...

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