Miniconjou

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Touch the Clouds, by James H. Hamilton, taken at the Spotted Tail Agency, Nebraska, in the fall of 1877, Miniconjou chief

The Miniconjou (Lakota: Mnikȟówožu, Hokwoju - ‘Plants by the Water’) are a Native American people constituting a subdivision of the Lakota people, who formerly inhabited an area in western present-day South Dakota from the Black Hills in to the Platte River. The contemporary population lives mostly in west-central South Dakota. Perhaps the most famous Miniconjou chief was Touch the Clouds.

Historic Miniconjou thiyóšpaye or bands[edit]

Together with the Sans Arc (Itázipčho, Itazipcola, Hazipco - ‘Those who hunt without bows’) and Two Kettles (Oóhe Núŋpa, Oóhenuŋpa, Oohenonpa - ‘Two Boiling’ or ‘Two Kettles’) they were often referred to as Central Lakota[citation needed] and divided into several bands or thiyóšpaye:

  • Unkche yuta (‘Dung Eaters’)
  • Glaglaheca (‘Untidy’, ‘Slovenly’, ‘Shiftless’)
  • Shunka yute shni (‘Eat No Dogs’, split off from the Wanhin Wega)
  • Nige Tanka (‘Big Belly’)
  • Wakpokinyan (‘Flies Along the River’)
  • Inyan ha oin (‘Musselshell Earring’)
  • Siksicela or Shikshichela (‘Bad Ones’, ‘Bad ones of different kinds’)
  • Wagleza-oin (‘Gartersnake Earring’)
  • Wanhin Wega (‘Broken Arrow’, the Shunka yute shni and Oóhenuŋpa split off about 1840)

The Oóhenuŋpa or Two Kettles were first part of the Miniconjou thiyóšpaye called Wanhin Wega, split off about 1840 and became a separate oyate or tribe.[citation needed]

Miniconjou leaders[edit]

Joseph White Bull (Ptesan Hunka) explained that prior to being confined to the reservation in the late 19th century, the Miniconjou recognized six hereditary leaders within their tribe, who were chosen from each clan.[citation needed] These men were:

  • Makes Room
  • Black Shield
  • Lone Horn
  • White Hollow Horn
  • White Swan
  • Comes Flying

These men became renowned war chiefs among the Miniconjou, rising through the ranks of the men's warrior societies. "They were treated as chiefs because of this," White Bull explained. "They wore shirts decorated with scalps."[citation needed] He identified these two leaders as:

Other war leaders were:

  • Hump or High Backbone (Etokeah) Father (1811-1870) and son (1848-1908). The father was perhaps the most prominent Indian leader at the Fetterman Fight in 1866.[1]

White Bull added: "The old time Minconjou tribe had good leaders, men of high repute. Now they are all dead and their children have taken their places."[citation needed] He listed the next generation as:

  • White Bull, son of Makes Room
  • Big Crow, son of Black Shield
  • Touch the Clouds, son of Lone Horn
  • Little Bear, son of White Hollow Horn
  • White Swan, son of White Swan
  • Comes Flying had no children
  • Crazy Heart, son of Lame Deer
  • Spotted Elk, son of Lone Horn, half-brother of Touches the Clouds

Other noted Miniconjou:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Doyle, Susan Badger. "Indian Perspectives on the Bozeman Trail" Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Winter, 1990) p. 66

External links[edit]