Native American Studies: History of the Sioux Tribe

Essay by paullina_bvCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2007

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There is no precise definition for the native American people, this being a subject of controversy but we can say that the “indigenous people of America are the pre-Colombian inhabitants of America and many ethnic groups who identify with those historical peoples”.

The Sioux Indians actually came to North America from the continent of Asia about 30,000 years ago. We recognize a particular feature of Asian people in their long, straight jet-black hair. They are native Americans of a Siouan language family and although they are seen as a single tribe, they are an alliance of different Siouan groups.

The name Sioux actually means “little snake”, which was given to the tribe by the Ojibwa Indians, their enemies. The Sioux generally call themselves Lakota, Dakota, or Nakota, meaning “allies.”There are four branches of the Sioux. The largest ancestral branch is the Teton Sioux who use the native name Lakota, comprising several other bands among which is Oglala, a second branch is Santee Sioux who use the name Dakota and were a woodland people who thrived on hunting, fishing and subsistence farming and migrated to Minnesota, a third branch is the Yankton Sioux, consisting of only one group, the Yankton and the last branch is the Yanktonai Sioux; the Yankton and Yanktonai use the name Nakota.

They moved into northern Minnesota and economically, they were involeved in quarrying pipestone.

Generally, the Sioux Indians were nomadic, meaning that they never really stayed in one place for a very long amount of time. Typically they followed the pattern of the buffalo, assuring them that there would be food and clothing wherever they traveled. The Spaniards introduced to them horses and so their life began to be much easier. In the 17th century small bands of the Sioux lived in the region Mille Lac...