South Dakota extract from
John Reed Swanton's

The Indian Tribes of North America

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(South Dakota) Extract from

The Indian Tribes of North America

By John R. Swanton
Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 145—1953
[726 pages—Smithsonian Institution]
(pp. 278-285)

South Dakota

Arapaho. According to tradition, the Arapaho at one time lived in the neighborhood of the Black Hills and warriors of the tribe often traversed the western parts of this State. (See Wyoming.)

Arikara. The Arikara lived at various points on the Missouri River in South Dakota during their migration northward after separating from the Skidi Pawnee. (See North Dakota.)

Cheyenne. From a Dakota term applied to them meaning "people of alien speech," literally, "red talkers." Also called:

A-was-she-tan-qua, Hidatsa name (Long, 1791).
Báhakosin, Caddo name, meaning "striped arrows."
Dog Indians, so called sometimes owing to a confusion of the name with the French word chien.
Dzitsi'stäs, own name.
Gatsalghi, Kiowa Apache name.
Hitäsi'na or Itasi'na, Arapaho name, meaning "scarred people."
I-sonsh'-pu-she, Crow name.
Itah-Ischipahji, Hidatsa name (Maximilian, 1843).
I-ta-su-pu-zi, Hidatsa name, meaning "spotted arrow quills."
Ka'neaheawastsik, Cree name, meaning "people with a language somewhat like Cree."
Nanoniks-kare'niki, Kichai name.
Niere'rikwats-kûni'ki, Wichita name.
Päganavo, Shoshoni and Comanche name, meaning "striped arrows."
Säk'o'ta, Kiowa name.
Scarred Arms, from a misinterpretation of the tribal sign.
Sha-ho, Pawnee name.

Connections.—Cheyenne was one of the three most aberrant languages of the Algonquian linguistic family, and was shared by no other tribe except the Sutaio, whose speech differed only in minor points.

Location.—This tribe moved frequently; in South Dakota they were associated with the Cheyenne River and the Black Hills. (See also Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.)

Subdivisions.—Following are the bands which had a well-recognized place in the camp circle, as given by Mooney (1928); Heviqs'-ni'`pahis, Moiséyu, Wu'tapíu, Hévhaitä'nio, Oi'vimána, Hisíometä'nio, Sutáio (formerly a distinct tribe; see below), Oqtóguna, Hó'nowa, Masi'`kota, O'mi'sis. Other band names not commonly recognized as divisional names, are these: Moqtávhaitä'niu, Ná'kuimána, Anskówinis, Pi'nûtgû', Máhoyum, Wóopotsi't, Totoimana (on Tongue River), Black Lodges (near Lame Deer), Ree Band, Yellow Wolf Band, Half-breed Band.

History.—Before 1700 the Cheyenne lived in what is now the State of Minnesota. There are very definite traditions of a time when they were on Minnesota River, from which region the Cheyenne who visited La Salle's fort in Illinois in 1680 probably came. A little later they seem to have moved to the neighborhood of Lake Traverse and still later part of them occupied a stockaded town on the Sheyenne River of North Dakota near the present Lisbon, N. Dak. Some years before 1799, perhaps in the decade 1780 to 1790, this town was surprised by Chippewa Indians and destroyed while most of the men were off hunting. The Cheyenne who escaped first settled along the Missouri where other bands of Cheyenne seem to have preceded them. There were a number of villages belonging to the tribe along the Missouri near the point where the boundary line between North and South Dakota crosses it until just before the time of Lewis and Clark, or, as Grinnell (1923) believes, for a number of years after the date of their expedition (1804-1806). However, they accustomed themselves more and more to a nomadic life and moved on toward the Black Hills whether they had been preceded by a cognate tribe known as the Sutaio. It is very probable that the Cheyenne had met the Sutaio east of the Missouri. At first the attitude of the two people toward each other is said to have been hostile, but presently they became friendly and finally united. On leaving the Missouri, the Cheyenne seem to have given up raising corn and making pottery. During the early part of the nineteenth century they moved to the headwaters of the Platte. When Bent's Fort was built on the upper Arkansas in 1832 a large part decided to establish themselves near it but the rest continued to rove about the headwaters of the North Platte and the Yellowstone. This separation in the tribe was made permanent by the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851, the two sections being known respectively as Southern Cheyenne and Northern Cheyenne. In the meantime they had met and formed an alliance with the Arapaho, though there is no memory of the date or the circumstances.

They were at war with the Kiowa from the time of their settlement on the upper Arkansas until 1840, but afterward acted with them against other tribes and the Whites. In 1849 they suffered severely in the cholera epidemic, and later between 1860 and 1878, in wars with the Whites. The southern division took a leading part in the general outbreak of 1874-75, and the Northern Cheyenne joined the hostile Dakota in 1876 and shared in the Custer massacre. Finally, the Northern Cheyenne were assigned a reservation in Montana. The Southern Cheyenne were similarly assigned to a reservation in the present Oklahoma in 1867 but could not be induced to remain upon it until after the general surrender of 1875. In 1901-02 the lands of the Southern Cheyenne were allotted in severalty.

Population.—Mooney (1928) places the number of Cheyenne and Sutaio at 3,500 in 1780. In 1904 the number of Southern Cheyenne was given as 1,903, and the Northern Cheyenne as 1,409, a total of 3,312. The census of 1910 returned 3,055, of whom 1,522 were in Oklahoma and 1,346 in Montana, but the United States Indian Office Report of 1923 gives 3,248, composed of 1,831 Southern Cheyenne, and 1,417 Northern Cheyenne. The census of 1930 returned 2,695, the Northern Cheyenne being slightly more numerous then the Southern division. In 1937 there were 1,561 Northern Cheyenne and 2,836 Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho together.

Connection in which they have become noted.—This Cheyenne tribe was one of the most famous of the Plains, and was conspicuous on account of the frequent wars which it waged against other tribes, as well as against the Whites. It is also noted on account of its romantic history, having originally been a corn-raising tribe in southern Minnesota and later having become thoroughly adjusted to Plains life. The name is preserved by the State Capital of Wyoming; by a river in South Dakota; by counties in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas; by the Cheyenne Mountains and Canons in Colorado; by a river of North Dakota (spelled Sheyenne); and by Cheyenne Wells in Colorado, and Sheyenne in Eddy County, N. Dak. There is also a place of the name in Roger Mills County, Okla.; and another in Winkler County, Tex.

Dakota. Signifying "allies" in the Santee or eastern dialect; in Yankton and in Assiniboin it is Nakota; in Teton, Lakota. They are more often known as Sioux, an abbreviation of Nadouessioux, the name applied to them by the Chippewa, as transmitted through French; it signifies "adders," and by derivation "enemies." Also called:
Ab-boin-ug, Boinug or Obwahnug, Wanak, Chippewa name, meaning "roasters" from their custom of torturing foes.
Ba-akush', Caddo name.
Ba-ra-shup'-gi-o, Crow name.
Chah'-ra-rat, Pawnee name.
Coupe-gorges, French rendering of a name given them in the sign language.
Cut-throats, English equivalent of same.
Hand Cutters, translation of Ute name.
Ita ha'tski, Hidatsa name, meaning "long arrows."
Kaispa, Sarsi name.
K`odalpa-Kiñago, Kiowa name, meaning "necklace people."
Mar-an-sho-bish-ko, Crow name, meaning "cutthroats."
Minishúpsko, Crow name of opprobrious meaning.
Nadouessioux, general Algonquian name received through the French.
Natni or Natnihina, Arapaho, meaning "cutthroats."
Na'-to-wo-na, Cheyenne name for easternmost bands of Sioux.
Nuktusem or Nktusem, Salish name.
Ocheti shakowin, own name, meaning "the seven council fires."
O-o'-ho-mo-i'-o, Cheyenne name, meaning "those on the outside."
Oshahak, Fox name.
Pambizimina, Shoshoni name, meaning "beheaders."
Pámpe Chyimina, Ute name, meaning "Hand Cutters."
Papitsinima, Comanche name, meaning "beheaders."
Píshakulk, Yakima name, meaning "beheaders."
Poualak or Pouanak, name given in early French records, for Ab-boin-ug.
Sáhagi, Shawnee name.
Shahañ, Osage, Kansa, and Oto name.
Shánana, Kiowa Apache name.
Tsaba'kosh, or Ba-akush', Caddo name, meaning "cutthroats."
Túyetchíske, Comanche name, meaning "cutthroats."
Wä-sä-sa-o-no, Iroquois name.
Yunssáha, Wyandot name, meaning "birds."

Connections.—The Dakota belonged to the Siouan linguistic family, their closest relations being the Hidatsa.

Location.—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. (See also Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Canada.)

Subdivisions.—Early explorers usually distinguished an Eastern or Forest and a Western or Prairie division, but the following is a more accurate classification: Mdewkanton, (op.cit.—probably Mdewakanton—[g.h.]) (2) Wahpeton, (3) Wahpekute, (4) Sisseton, (5) Yankton, (6) Yanktonai, including (a) Upper Yanktonai, and (b) Lower Yantonai (op.cit [g.h.]) or Hunkpatina, from whom also the Assiniboin are said to have separated, and (7) Teton, including (a) the Brule (Upper and Lower), (b) Hunkpapa, (c) Miniconjou, (op.cit.[g.h.]) (d) Oglala, (e) Oohenonpa or Two Kettle, (f) San Arcs, (g) Sihasapa or Blackfoot. Numbers 1 to 4 constituted the Santee or Eastern division.

Minor Bands, Villages, Etc.—

Black Tiger, near Fort Peck Agency.
Broken Arrows, possibly the Cazazhita.
Casarba, 35 leagues up St. Peters River in 1804.
Cazazhita, probably Tetons and perhaps the same as the Wannawega.
Chansuushka, unidentified.
Chasmuna, unidentified.
Cheokhba, a band of the Hunkpapa Teton.
Congewichacha, a Dakota division, perhaps Teton.
Farmers Band, probably a band of the Mdewakanton, below Lake Traverse, Minn.
Fire Lodge, below Lake Traverse.
Flandreau Indians, a part of the Santee who settled at Flandreau, S. Dak.
Grey Eagle Band, below Lake Traverse, Minn.
Lake Comedu unidentified.
Lean Bear, below Lake Traverse, Minn.
Long Sioux, near Fort Peck.
Magayuteshni, a Mdewakanton division.
Menostamenton, unidentified.
Micacoupsiba, on the upper St. Peters, Minn.
Minisha, an Oglala band.
Neecoweegee, unidentified, possibly Minneconjou.
Nehogatawonahs, near St. Croix River in Minnesota or Wisconsin.
Newastarton, an unidentified band on the Mississippi above the St. Peters (Minnesota) River; probably the Mdewakanton.
Ocatameneton, an eastern Dakota band.
Ohanhanska, a band of the Magayuteshni division of the Mdewakanton on Minnesota River.
Oughetgeodatons, a village or subdivision of one of the western bands.
Oujatespouitons, west of the Mississippi.
Peshlaptechela, an Oglala Teton band.
Pineshow, a band of Wahpeton, on Minnesota River, 15 miles from its mouth.
Psinchaton, belonging to the Western Dakota in Minnesota.
Psinoumanitons, a division of the Eastern Dakota, probably in Wisconsin.
Psinoutanhinhintons, a band of Western Dakota in Minnesota.
Rattling Moccasin Band, a band of Mdewakanton Dakota on Minnesota River below Lake Traverse, Minn.
Red Leg's Band, a Wahpekute band in Minnesota.
Redwood, location uncertain.
Star Band, a band of Mdewakanton.
Takini, an Upper Yanktonai band.
Talonapin, a Hunkpapa band.
Tashunkeota, a Sihasapa band.
Tateibombu's Band, location uncertain.
Touchouasintons, a band of the Western Dakota, perhaps the Wazikute.
Traverse de Sioux, a part of the Sisseton formerly on Minnesota River, Minn.
Waktonila, unidentified.
Wazikute, a band of Upper Yanktonai.
White Cap Indians, on the south Saskatchewan River, in Assiniboia, Canada.
White Eagle Band, location unknown.
Wiattachechah, an unidentified village.
History.—The first historical mention of the Dakota is in the Jesuit Relation for 1640 when they were probably in the eastern part of the territory indicated above. Rev. A. L. Riggs, for many years a missionary among them, claims that their traditions pointed to the northeast as the place of their origin and that they once lived about the Lake of the Woods. There are, however, strong grounds for believing that they pushed their way up into the present Minnesota from the southeast, though there is no doubt that the Chippewa forced them back in later times from some of the most easternmost lands they occupied and their expulsion from Mille Lacs is an historical event. It is thought that few Dakota crossed the Missouri before 1750, yet it is claimed that some of them reached the Black Hills by 1765. In 1862 the Eastern Dakota under Little Crow rose upon the Whites and in the war which followed 700 settlers and 100 soldiers were killed, while the hostile bands lost all of the rest of their lands in Minnesota and were forced to move to Dakota and Nebraska. On the discovery of gold in the Black Hills the rush of miners to that region became the occasion for a war with the Western Dakota rendered famous by the cutting off of General Custer and five companies of cavalry on the Little Bighorn, June 25, 1876. An incipient rising at Wounded Knee Creek, resulting from the spread of the Ghost Dance religion, was the last scene of the struggles between the Dakota and the Whites, and the tribe is now allotted lands in severalty, principally in South Dakota, but in part in North Dakota and Nebraska.

Population.—Mooney (1928) estimated that in 1780 there were 25,000 Dakota of all divisions, exclusive of the Assiniboin (q. v. under Montana). In 1904 their distribution on agencies and their numbers were as follows: Cheyenne River (Minniconjou, Sans Arcs, and Oohenonpa), 2,477; Crow Creek (Lower Yanktonai), 1,025; Fort Totten School (Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Yanktonai), 1,013; Riggs Institute (Santee), 279; Fort Peck (Yankton), 1,116; Lower Brule (Lower Brule), 470; Pine Ridge (Oglala), 6,690; Rosebud (Brule, Waglukhe, Lower Brule, Northern, Oohenonpa, and Wazhazha), 4,977; Santee (Santee), 1,075; Sisseton (Sisseton and Wahpeton), 1,908; Standing Rock (Sihasapa, Hunkpapa, and Yanktonai), 3,514; Yankton (Yank-ton), 1,702; under no agency (Mdewakanton in Minnesota) 929; total, 27,175. The census of 1930 returned 25,934, of whom 20,918 were in South Dakota, 2,307 in North Dakota, 1,251 in Montana, 690 in Nebraska, and the remainder in more than 22 other States. The Report of the United States Office of Indian Affairs for 1937 gave 33,625, including 27,733 in South Dakota, 2,797 in North Dakota, 1,292 in Nebraska, 1,242 in Minnesota, and 561 in Montana.

Connections in which they have become noted.—The Dakota are one of the most famous tribes of North America, thanks to their numbers and prowess, their various wars with the Whites and the spectacular character of one of the last encounters with them, the celebrated "Custer massacre," not to mention the conspicuous nature of their connection with the Ghost Dance cult and the tragic affray at Wounded Knee Creek which grew out of it. The name is preserved in two of the States of our Union, North and South Dakota; by a river which flows through them; by counties in Minnesota and Nebraska; and by places in Stephenson County, Ill.; Winona County, Minn.; in Wisconsin and Nebraska; and as Dakota City in Humboldt County, Iowa, and Dakota County, Nebr. The other popular name for this tribe, Sioux, has been given to Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, S. Dak.; to counties in Iowa and Nebraska; and small places in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota; as Sioux in Yancey County, N. C.; Sioux Center in Sioux County, Iowa; Sioux Rapids in Buena Vista County, Iowa; and Sioux Pass in Richland County, Mont. It appears as Lacota (the Teton form of the name) in Marion County, Fla., and Van Buren County, Mich., and with the spelling Lakota in Kossuth County, Iowa; Nelson County, N. Dak.; and Culpeper County, Va.

Kiowa. The Kiowa lived in and about the Black Hills for a time before they were succeeded by the Sutaio and Cheyenne. (See Oklahoma.)

Mandan. According to tradition, this tribe reached the Missouri River near the mouth of White River, and settled at several places along the former within the borders of this State before passing out of it into North Dakota. (See North Dakota.)

Omaha. After having been driven from the region of the Pipestone Quarry in Minnesota, the Omaha settled on the Missouri in the territory of South Dakota and later moved downstream under pressure from the Dakota to their later seats in Nebraska. (See Nebraska.)

Ponca.This tribe was with the Omaha when it left the region of the Pipestone Quarry, but separated from it on the Missouri and went into the Black Hills for a time, after which it retired to the Missouri and settled in the present Nebraska. (See Nebraska.)

Sutaio.Significance uncertain. A Cheyenne informant of Grinnell (1923) believed it was derived from issuht', "ridge."

Connection.—The Sutaio belonged to the Algonquian linguistic stock, their nearest relatives being the Cheyenne.

Location.—When first brought distinctly to the knowledge of Whites, this tribe was west of Missouri River, between it and the Black Hills.

History.—The Sutaio may have been the "Chousa" band of Cheyenne of whom Perrin du Lac (1805) heard. At any rate they were probably not far distant from the Cheyenne during their migrations from Minnesota to the Missouri River and beyond, though whether in front of them, or to one side, it is impossible to tell. According to Cheyenne tradition as reported by Grinnell (1923), the two tribes met three different times. At any rate we know that they lived side by side in the region eastward of the Black Hills for some time and that they finally united there into one body, the Sutaio taking their place as one band in the Cheyenne tribal camping circle.

Population.—Unknown. (See Cheyenne.)

Winnebago.After leaving Minnesota in 1862 and before they took refuge with the Omaha, part of this tribe lived for a while on the Crow Creek Reservation. (See Wisconsin.)