Encouraging Bear

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Encouraging Bear, aka Horn Chips (Lakota: Ptehé Wóptuȟ’a (in Standard Lakota Orthography)), was a noted Oglala Lakota medicine man, and the spiritual advisor to Crazy Horse. Horn Chips was orphaned as a young child and raised by his grandmother. Later he was adopted by the uncle of Crazy Horse.

Chips and Crazy Horse were raised together. He is said to have had the gift of prophecy, being able to change the weather, and find lost objects and missing people. He is also acknowledged as the man who saved traditional Lakota religion from extinction and trained a number of successors.

Chips was present when Crazy Horse was killed. When the soldier jerked the bayonet from Crazy Horse's body, he hit Chips in the shoulder with the butt and dislocated his shoulder. Chips buried Crazy Horse, and he was the only person who knew the body's location.


  • Hirschfelder, Arlene, and Molin, Paulette. Encyclopedia of Native American Religions: An Introduction. (New York: Facts on File, 1992)
  • Horn Chips Recalls Crazy Horse