Sitting Bull And The Paradox Of Lakota Nationhood

2741 words - 11 pages

A Hunkpapa Lakota chief named Sitting Bull and the history of the Lakota nationhood was the chosen subject of Gary C. Anderson to write a biography on. Although most of the history about Sitting Bull took place back in the eighteen hundreds, Anderson did not come out with his book tell around 1995. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers published the book in 1996. The book follows the history of Sitting Bull and the native Indians fight with the "white man" over land.The first chapter goes back in history and sets up the story and setting. It was the eighteenth century and the Americans were beginning to invade the lands west of the Mississippi River. This caused problems because even though Americans saw the lands as an unoccupied region, Sitting Bull and his Lakota or Sioux people knew it as their homeland. While the Indians were living their normal lives by hunting and following the buffalo, the Americans were moving out west and fast. They established a railway and were on the move for gold. The buffalo population was rapidly decreasing because they interfered with the railroad and the Americans were killing them. This dramatic decrease of buffalo caused a struggle for the Indians because buffalo was their main supplier for resources like food, clothing, and shelter.After the discovery of gold in the Black Hills both Indians and American were killing each other in small battles over the land that was sacred to many tribes and the Lakota's "owned". The government noticed this and set up The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1968. This meant the areas were placed off-limits to white setters. Despite this ban prospectors still rushed to the west. The government efforts in purchasing the Black Hills failed and the commissioner of Indian Affairs later ruled that all Lakota not settled on reservation by January 31, 1876 would be considered hostile. While some moved on to reservation camp easily and started a new life of farming, Sitting Bull and his people held there ground.With the second chapter, we get a look specifically into Sitting Bulls (Tatanka- Iyotanka) life and his training to become the great leader and chief of the Lakota tribe. Born as Hunkesni meaning slow, around 1831 on the Grand River in present day South Dakota. As a young boy Sitting Bull was already showing promise as a leader. Traditionally, his uncles, Four Horns, and Looks-For-Him-In-A-Tent raised Sitting Bull. They were the most important role models in Sitting Bull's life. They taught him the arts of hunting and warfare. Sitting Bulls uncles were major Hunkpapa chiefs and assured Sitting Bull of being seriously considered as a potential leader of his people. They gave him status and instruction and saw to it that he was raised properly, and Sitting Bull called them Ate, his fathers.Intense training of the young boy began after he was able to mount a horse. Young boys received training in tending horse herds by age ten. Not only were the boys being trained themselves but they also...

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