The Lakota are a fiercely strong and powerful tribe whose leaders and warrior have achieved the status of legends the world over, like Red Claw, American Horse, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, Red Horn Buffalo, and Crazy Horse. Crazy Horse is the Lakota’s hero, and held in high esteem and legend by the tribe.
The Lakota led a simple and humble life. They never bragged or exaggerated things but just lived according to nature. And nature too existed in perfect harmony with them. Respect was another teaching that was central to the Lakotan way of life.
The Seven Lakota Values, given by the White Buffalo Calf Woman, have also suffered through the loss of language and today’s fast paced, technological lifestyle. The values include Praying, Respect, Caring and Compassion, Honesty and Truth, Generosity and Caring, Humility, and Wisdom.
Overview. The Lakota believe that everything has a spirit; including trees, rocks, rivers, and almost every natural being. This therefore leads to the belief in the existence of an afterlife.
Sioux language has three dialects: Lakota, Dakota and Nakota. Lakota means “allies, friends or those who are united.” Dakota comes from the word Da meaning “considered” and Koda or “friend.” Most Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people live on South Dakota’s nine reservations.
About The Lakota Way Here he focuses on the twelve core qualities that are crucial to the Lakota way of life– bravery, fortitude, generosity, wisdom, respect, honor, perseverance, love, humility, sacrifice, truth, and compassion.
The Lakota traded regularly with other tribes of the Great Plains. They particularly liked to trade buffalo hides and meat to tribes like the Arikara in exchange for corn. These tribes usually communicated using American Indian Sign Language. The Lakotas also fought wars with other tribes.
There is a simple but profound Lakota prayer: Mitakuye Oyasin. These two words mean “All My Relations” or “We are All Related”. To pray this prayer is to petition God on behalf of everyone and everything on Earth. It was a prayer of respect, honor and love for all of mankind, and for the Earth.
In Lakota culture, black denotes honor, respect, adulthood.
Lakota has a reputation for being hard to learn, and indeed many elements of the language do differ from English. Lakota is a highly verb-oriented language. And while English speakers might find the language a challenge, it is no more challenging than learning Japanese or Urdu.
Traditionally, the Sioux would place the body of the deceased in a tree or on the platform of a scaffold that stood about eight feet above the ground, and the remains stayed there for one year. The body was treated as if it still had life. After one year the body was buried in the ground.
The Sun Dance was the most important ceremony practiced by the Lakota (Sioux) and nearly all Plains Indians. It was a time of renewal for the tribe, people and earth. The village was large, as many bands came together for this annual rite. Each tribe camped within their own circle, which was part of another circle.
Wašíču is the Lakota and Dakota word for people of Western European descent. It expresses the indigenous population’s perception of the non-natives’ relationship with the land and the indigenous population. Typically it refers to white people but does not specifically mention skin color or race.
Today, the majority of the Lakota live at the 2,782 square mile Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. The Dakota Sioux, also called the Santee Sioux, originally migrated northeast into Ohio and Minnesota.