Sioux. I INTRODUCTION Sioux, Native Americans of the Siouan language family and of the Great Plains culture area. The Sioux are often discussed as a single tribe, but were really a loose alliance of many different Siouan groups. The name Sioux comes from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) word for them, rendered into French by early explorers and traders as Nadouessioux ("adders," a kind of snake, used in the sense of "enemies"). This term was shortened to Sioux and passed into English. The Sioux generally call themselves Lakota, Dakota, or Nakota, meaning "allies." Four branches of Sioux separated from other Siouan-speaking peoples long ago. The largest ancestral branch is the Teton Sioux, comprising the following subgroups or bands: Oglala, Brulé (Sicangu), Hunkpapa, Miniconjou, Oohenonpa, Itazipco (Sans Arcs), and Sihasapa. A second branch is the Santee Sioux, comprising the Sisseton, Wahpeton, Wahpekute, and Mdewakanton bands. A third branch is the Yankton Sioux, consisting of only one group, the Yankton. A fourth branch is the Yanktonai Sioux, composed of the Yanktonai, Hunkpatina, and Assiniboine bands (the Assiniboine separated from the other bands, probably in the 1600s, and assumed a distinct identity). The Teton use the native name Lakota; the Santee use Dakota; and the Yankton and Yanktonai use Nakota. In the 17th century the Sioux comprised small bands of peoples in the Mille Lacs region of present-day east central Minnesota. They lived on deer, smaller game, and wild rice, and were surrounded by rival tribes. Conflict with their enemy, the Ojibwa, forced the Sioux to move west to the Great Plains and adjacent areas. The Dakota, sometimes called the Eastern Sioux, settled along the Minnesota River in what is now southwestern Minnesota. The Nakota settled along the Missouri River in eastern South Dakota and eastern North Dakota, as well as nearby parts of northwestern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota. The Lakota migrated the farthest west to the Black Hills region of what is now western South Dakota, eastern Wyoming, and eastern Montana. As they became adept buffalo hunters in their new lands, the bands grew and prospered, ranging beyond their central territory. By 1750 the Sioux comprised some 30,000 people firmly established on the northern Great Plains. They dominated this region for the next century. II THE STRUGGLE AGAINST U.S. ENCROACHMENT Some Sioux fought on the side of the British during the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the War of 1812. In 1815, however, the eastern groups made treaties of friendship with the United States, and in 1825 another treaty confirmed Sioux possession of an immense territory that included much of present-day Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Wyoming. In 1837 the Sioux sold all their territory east of the Mississippi River to the United States; additional territory was sold in 1851. At this time a pattern of assault and counterassault developed as settlers pushed forward onto Sioux lands. The first clash was in 1854 near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, when 19 U.S. soldiers were killed. In retaliation, in 1855 U.S. troops killed about 100 Sioux at their encampment in Nebraska and imprisoned their chief. Red Cloud's War (1866-1868), named after the Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud, ended in a treaty granting the Black Hills in perpetuity to the Sioux. The treaty, however, was not honored by the United States; gold prospectors and miners flooded the region in the 1870s. In 1876 and 1877 the Sioux and their allies, the Cheyenne and the Arapaho, fought numerous battles against the U.S. Army. The most famous of these encounters was the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876, in which General George Armstrong Custer and about 250 troops were killed by warriors under Lakota chiefs Sitting Bull, Gall, and Crazy Horse. The massacre by U.S. troops of as many as 370 Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in December 1890 marked the end of Sioux resistance until modern times. III TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE Sioux customs have captured the public imagination and have come to represent for many non-Indians, however erroneously, the typical way of life of Native Americans, or at least of Plains Indians: buffalo hunting; use of the tipi (tepee); skill with horses in hunting and warfare; military societies; sacred shields; buffalo robes; eagle-feathered war bonnets; taking guidance through visions, as in the custom of the vision quest; the Sun Dance renewal ceremony, involving self-torture; purification through sweats; the sacred pipe, popularly referred to as the peace pipe; and sign language. The Sioux way of life revolved around the American bison, or buffalo, although some eastern bands farmed for part of the year. The basic social unit of the Sioux was the tiyospe, an extended family group that followed the buffalo herds together. Every part of the animal was used for food, clothing, shelter, or tools; dried buffalo dung was used for fuel. The portable cone-shaped tipi, made from poles and buffalo hides, was the predominant type of Sioux dwelling. Sioux religious beliefs centered on Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit or Great Mystery, an all-pervasive force. The revitalization movement known as the Ghost Dance spread to the Sioux in the 1890s. They believed that performing the dance would cleanse the world of whites and lead to the restoration of Indian land. The ritual alarmed non-Indians because of its perceived militancy, and the U.S. government's attempt to suppress it culminated in the Wounded Knee Massacre. IV CONTEMPORARY LIFE In the 2000 U.S. census about 108,000 people identified themselves as Sioux only; an additional 45,000 people reported being part Sioux. Most live on reservations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska. There are also Sioux First Nations in Canada, with reserves in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Many Sioux now live in urban areas, such as Minneapolis-St. Paul. Tribal elders are striving to pass on dialects and traditional customs to Sioux youth. Some Sioux bands, especially in Minnesota, have turned to gaming for tribal income. The Sioux have been active in the modern Native American civil rights movement, seeking restoration of their land base and the institution of a modernized form of traditional life. They have been particularly involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM), a civil rights group that has actively protested government treatment of Native Americans since the late 1960s. In 1973 AIM, in concert with a group of Oglala Lakota who were angered by reservation abuses, seized the community of Wounded Knee for 71 days and demanded a United States Senate investigation into Native American living conditions. See also Native Americans of North America: Great Plains; Native American Languages. Reviewed By: Carl Waldman Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.