Sitting Bull Essay

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This is a biography of a great man name Tatanka- Iyontanka popularly known as Sitting Bull also nicknamed Slon-he or “Slow”. He was born around 1831 on Grand River which is now South Dakota. Before the people were called Lakota which means “Many Caches”, because they have dug many food storage pits. Sitting Bull was given the name Tatanka – Iyontanka, which describes a buffalo bull sitting intractably on its haunches. He was a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man. The police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was about to arrest him but he was killed to stop him from supporting the Ghost Dance movement.

Childhood Sitting Bull has a temporary name before he was called Tatanka – Iyontanka he was called by the tribe as Hoka-Psice (Jumping Badger). Her-Holy-Door was the name of her mother, and Good Feather is the name of her sister which is six year older than him. During his youthful years Sitting Bull became famous at foot races and an expert in horseback rider and was excellent bow and arrow player. (wikipedia. org/wiki/Sitting_Bull).

Since he won most of the time which gave honor to his father and to him as well, his enemy told his children to call him “Slow” (in which he got the nicknamed Slon-he). This has affected him and brought great dishonour to his father and to himself. This has caused him to feel depressed and lonely. He was not competing that much and even loses some of his fight. His father got worried that he even asks the help of a witch. The witch gave her a “Magic Buffalo Tooth” which to them is a sign of bravery and strength. The tooth has worked and even got Sitting Bull back to winning all the races and wrestling matches.

When he got his power and strength back his father gave him the name Tataka- Iyontaka because of his bravery in beating the Crow, at the age of 14. During the battle he overtook one of the warriors that cause the retreat of the Crow. He earned the white eagle feather as a sign of a first coup. A personalized shield was given to him by his father. It was decorated with scene depicting from Sitting Bull father’s dreams and dedicated by the band’s medicine man. Strong Heart Warrior Society appointed Sitting Bull to be their leader and later became a distinguished member of the group that concerned with tribal welfare called Silent Eaters.

Marriage and family He was married to Pretty Door or Light Hair. (wikipedia. org/wiki/Sitting_Bull). Although the family history is not that clear the marriage according to researches took place in 1851. His wife died during childbirth and his son died at early age because of a disease. To replace his lost son he adopted his nephew One Bull. In 1857, Sittting Bull also treated a young Assiniboine as his brother, and became known as the Jumping Bull.

As a Holy Man During his early twenties he became a Sioux holy man or wicasa waka. (www. pbs. rg) as a holy man he must be aware of the complicated religious rituals and beliefs of the Sioux, and also familiarizing the natural phenomena connected to the Sioux beliefs. According to Utley (1993), Sitting Bull had a deeper personality that can lead the entire Sioux and that can start a quest in understanding of the universe and the way in which he can have the infinite power to help his people Sitting Bull although he is not really a medicine man he study the techniques of healing and uses medicinal herb because of his status as a wichasha waken.

Sitting Bull became a member of the Buffalo Society, a group of people that dream of buffalo. A Heyoka society was formed for those who dreamed of thunderbirds in which he became a member. Sitting Bull has increased the Sioux hunting grounds. Problem on native economy arises when the U. S. army continually invaded their territory. The Sioux fought the army’s encroachment from 1863 to 1868. Sitting Bull became the first principal chief of the entire Sioux in 1867. Sitting Bull refuses to attend the peace conference or sign the treaty; it happened shortly thereafter peace was made with U.

S. government. Although the Black Hills may remain in Sioux possession forever as promised by the Fort Laramie treaty. (Sahlamn R. , Strandberg, D. 2007) His Battle Dakota War of 1862 and its aftermath In late 1850s and early 1860s United States has violated the treaty that makes the eastern bands of the Dakota became annoyed with both white settlers and traders alike. Dakota are among the three major groups of the Sioux the two other groups are the Lakota and the Nakota.

In August 17, 1862 a decision to attack the white settlements throughout southern Minnesota started the Dakota war. However the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota as a result of their defeat. Dakota run refugee to the Lakota territory along the Missouri River. The Lakota were affected by the war between the Dakota and the United States, but because the refugee where on their territory the United States battled against the Sioux. In 1863, the battle was against the Military, this is the Hunkpapa warriors unite with Dakota refugee warriors.

They were defeated twice one in the Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake in July 26, 1863 and at the Battle of Stony Lake on July 28, 1863 they were defeated under the leadership of Col. Henry Sibley. Sitting Bull participated in both battle but still the army prevailed killing about 100 Sioux and capturing others. After the defeat the Hunkpapa retreated eventhough they are aware of the intentions of the military to continue the fight. Gen. Alfred Sully led the forces of the American out from Fort Sully.

At the foot of the Killdeer Mountains the Lakota and Dakota Sioux assembled to counter their advance up the Cannonball River. Sitting Bull and his elder nephew White Bull were among the thousand warriors who was preparing for the battle. At the Battle of Killdeer Mountain, which took place July 28, 1864, the Sioux attacked Sully’s assembled forces; they were defeated by the soldiers who were armed with artillery and ammunition. The Sioux retreated and wounded Sitting Bull, Four Horns but they were able to survive.

After they regain strength they attacked again the Sully’s forces from August 7 to August 9, 1864, and were defeated again. Sitting Bull talked to the Sioux to convince them to withdraw which resulted in the Sully’a second victory and Sitting Bull plea. The battle between the Sioux and the Sully’s continues as it reaches the Badlands. The several bands broke up after Killdeer Mountain, and Sitting Bull and a group of Hunkpapas moved southeast. Capt. James L. Fisk led a wagon train of emigrants, was attacked by Sitting Bull and the Hunkpapas on September 2, 1864.

Sitting Bull again was wounded, this time through the hip and back. The emigrants forted up and a standoff ensued until the Sioux eventually gave up and retreated to track buffalo. (wikipedia. org/wiki/Sitting_Bull). The battle between the Sully’s and the Sioux from 1863 to 1864 has caused Sitting Bull to condemn the presence of whites in Sioux lands, and he became against the militancy on whites that characterize him for the rest of his life. Red Cloud’s War Sitting Bull led numerous war parties against Fort Berthold, Fort Stevenson, and Fort Buford and their environs from 1865 through 1868.

Although Red Cloud was a leader of the Oglala Sioux, his leadership and attacks against forts in the Powder River Country were accompanied by Sitting Bull’s guerrilla attacks on emigrant parties and smaller forts throughout the upper Missouri River region. The U. S. government in 1868 wanted to have a peaceful settlement to Red Cloud’s War, and agreed to their demands that Forts Phil Kearny and C. F. Smith be abandoned. Chief Gall of the Hunkpapas signed a form of the Treaty of Fort Laramie on July 2, 1868 at Fort Rice (near Bismarck, North Dakota). (www. pbs. rg) But Sitting Bull does not agree on the treaty and continue to fight and stage some attacks on forts in the upper Missouri area in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

The Great Sioux War of 1876-77 In the late 1860s Sitting Bull’s band of the Hunkpapas continued to make attacks on emigrant parties and forts but in 1871, the Northern Pacific Railway conducted a survey for a route across the northern plains directly through Hunkpapa lands. Sitting Bull and the Sioux were against the 1871 survey and in 1872 the surveyors are being accompanied by federal troops for their safety. This causes the survey team to turn back.

In 1873, the military accompaniment for the surveyors was considerably larger, but Sitting Bull’s forces resisted this survey “most vigorously. ” Bankruptcy is the result of the panic in 1873 forcing the backers of the Northern Pacific Railways’s. This caused the construction of the railroad to be stopped through the Sioux territory; but also encouraged interest in the possibility of gold mining in the Black Hills. A military expedition led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer in 1874 left from Fort Abraham Lincoln, near Bismarck, to explore the Black Hills for gold and to determine a suitable location for a military fort in the Hills.

Custer’s announcement of gold in the Black Hills triggered the Black Hills Gold Rush and increased tensions between the Sioux and whites seeking to move into the Black Hills. (wikipedia. org/wiki/Sitting_Bull). Although Sitting Bull did not attack Custer’s expedition in 1874, the government was increasingly pressured to open the Black Hills to mining and settlement based on reports of Sioux depredations (encouraged by Sitting Bull). In November 1875, the government accordingly ordered all Sioux bands outside the Great Sioux Reservation to move onto the reservation, with the knowledge that these bands would not comply.

These bands living off the reservation were certified by the Interior Department as hostile on February 1, 1876. This certification allowed the military to pursue the Sioux and Sitting Bull. Battle of Little Bighorn Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, has became a household name when he began fighting the Sioux. He is a Union veteran of Civil War, who is also a presidential hopeful in early 1870. He became famous among the whites because of his series of controversial battles and attacks against Native American camps.

His Civil War exploits and he was present during the Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Sitting Bull’s influence was growing larger as a result of his militant stance against white intrusions on Sioux lands. By the mid-1870s, Sitting Bull had garnered great respect even among other bands of the Sioux, while his guidance also impacted the Northern Cheyenne and the Northern Arrapahoes. Expecting a similar victory the Custer’s 7th Cavalry advance party of General Alfred Howe Terry’s column attacked Indian tribes at their camp in Little Big Horn River on June 25, 1876.

More than 3000 Native Americans had left their reservations and follow Sitting Bull; the U. S. army did not realize that before the battle began. The attacking Sioux, inspired by a vision of Sitting Bull’s, in which he saw U. S. soldiers being killed as they entered the tribe’s camp, fought back. Custer’s badly outnumbered troops lost ground quickly and were forced to retreat, as they began to realize the true numbers of the Native American force. The tribes then led a counter-attack against the soldiers on a nearby ridge, ultimately annihilating the soldiers. (wikipedia. rg/wiki/Sitting_Bull).

The Native Americans’ celebrations were short-lived, however, as public outrage at Custer’s death and defeat and the heightened awareness of the remaining Sioux brought thousands more soldiers to the area. Over the next year, the new American military forces pursued the Lakota, forcing many of the Indians to surrender. Sitting Bull refused to surrender and in May 1877 led his band across the border into Saskatchewan, Canada where he remained in exile for many years near Wood Mountain, refusing a pardon and the chance to return Surrender

Hunger and cold eventually forced Sitting Bull, his family, and nearly 200 other Sioux in his band to return to the United States and surrender on July 19, 1881. Sitting Bull had his young son Crow Foot surrender his rifle to the commanding officer of Fort Buford, and he told the soldiers he wished to regard them and the white race as friends. Two weeks later, Sitting Bull and his band were transferred to Fort Yates, the military post located adjacent to the Standing Rock Agency. Arriving with 185 people, his band was kept separate from the other Hunkpapa gathered at the agency.

Army officials remained concerned that the famed Hunkpapa chief would use his influence to stir up trouble among the recently surrendered northern bands. Consequently, the military decided to transfer him and his band to Fort Randall to be held as prisoners of war. Again loaded on a steamboat, Sitting Bull’s band, now totaling 172 people, were sent downriver to Fort Randall where they spent the next 20 months. He was finally allowed to return to the Standing Rock Agency with his band in May 1883. Death and burial Sitting Bull returned to the Standing Rock Agency in South Dakota.

Because of fears that he would support the Ghost Dance movement, Indian Affairs authorities ordered him arrested. During a struggle between Sitting Bull’s followers and the police on December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was shot in the side and head by police after they were fired upon by his supporters. His body was taken to Fort Yates for burial, but in 1953, his remains were exhumed and reburied near Mobridge, South Dakota by Sioux who wanted his body to be nearer to his birthplace. However, some Sioux and historians dispute this claim and believe that any remains that were moved were not those of Sitting Bull.

Legacy Following his death, his cabin on the Grand River was taken to Chicago to become part of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The cabin was exhibited along with Native American dances and a sign that said “War Dance Given Daily. ” Later, Sitting Bull became the subject of or a character in several Hollywood motion pictures, such as Sitting Bull: The Hostile Sioux Indian Chief (1914), Sitting Bull at the Spirit Lake Massacre (1927), Sitting Bull (1954), Buffalo Bill and the Indians or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976), and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007).

As time passed, Sitting Bull’s legacy became a product of the public’s lasting perception of him as an archetype of Native American resistance movements. Legoland Billund, the first Legoland park, contains a Lego sculpture of Sitting Bull, which is the largest sculpture in the park. On September 14, 1989, the United States Postal Service released a postage stamp featuring a likeness of Sitting Bull with a denomination of 28?. On March 6, 1996, the Standing Rock Sioux tribal council voted to rename Standing Rock College (formerly Standing Rock Community College) as Sitting Bull College in honor of Sitting Bull.

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