You Lived With the Sioux Indians (If You)
What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer
the Following Questions:
did the Sioux live?
In the Great Plains also known as present-day North Dakota and
South Dakota. In the 1800's, there were thirty-one tribes living
in the Great Plains, and the Sioux tribe was one of the most famous
of all the Plains Indians. Did you know
Dakota was another name for the Sioux tribe? The Sioux were hunters
and relied on buffalo for food, clothes, shelter, and other things.
Because they followed the roaming buffalo, the Sioux lived in
tipis which could be packed up and moved quickly. A tipi (TEE-pee)
was a tent made of tall wooden poles and covered with tough buffalo
2. What did the Sioux
Buffalo, other meat, and wild fruits and vegetables. The Sioux
ate mostly buffalo -- boiled, broiled, dried, and sometimes raw.
After a buffalo hunt, the Sioux ate fresh buffalo. In the winter,
when buffalo were hard to hunt, the Sioux ate dried buffalo meat,
called pemmican. The Sioux also ate other meats (bear, deer, antelope,
and wild turkey and hens), wild fruits (cherries, berries, and
plums) and wild vegetables (potatoes, spinach, and prairie turnips).
The Sioux did not plant gardens because they were always on the
move and could not take care of them. Food was shared or traded
by all the members of the tribe.
3. What did the Sioux
Long dresses, shirts, leggings, breechcloths, and moccasins. The
clothes were made by the women from softened animals skins (deer,
elk, and antelope). Women wore long dresses and leggings every
day and wore dresses with decorations (elk teeth, bear claws,
feathers, and fur) for special occasions. Men wore deerskin shirts
and leggings. In warm weather or when they were hunting buffalo,
men wore only a strip of leather (breechcloth) and a pair of moccasins.
In the winter, the Sioux wore a buffalo robe to keep warm.
4. How did the Sioux
By playing and helping their parents work. Learning was done all
the time, rather than by attending school. Until the age of five,
boys and girls all learned swimming, horse riding, and hunting
small animals. After the age of five, the boys were taught to
make and shoot arrows, hunt, and ride their horses without a saddle.
The girls were taught how to make soft leather from animal skins,
make and repair clothing and tipis, cook, care for a baby, paint
beautiful designs, and decorate with porcupine quills.
5. Did the Sioux hunt
Yes. A buffalo hunt was very serious and carefully planned. Scouts
would find the buffalo, and the tribe would move as close to the
buffalo herd as possible. On the day of the hunt, hunters would
mount their horses, the chief would give a signal, and the men
would charge. The buffalo ran fast, and the hunters shot only
three arrows before the stop-shooting signal was given. The Sioux
only killed as many buffalo as the tribe could use. The women
followed the hunters with their pack horses. The men and women
would skin the buffalo, cut up the meat, and load it on the horses.
Then they all rode back to the camp for fun and feasting.
6. What was the Sioux
They believed everything had a life of its own. Spirits (like
rock spirits, tree spirits, and cloud spirits) could change their
shapes to become animals, people, or even invisible. The earth
was the mother of all the spirits, and the sun had great power
because it gave light and warmth. There were also spirits for
east, west, north, south, the earth, and the sky. The greatest
power was Wakan Tanka, or Great Spirit, because Wakan Tanka sent
them buffalo. The Sioux danced and gave gifts to the spirits.
The most famous tribal ceremony was the Sun Dance which took place
every year before the big buffalo hunt. It lasted many days, and
everybody took part to ask the spirits to bring them plenty of
buffalo. The Sioux also placed their tipis in a circle because
they believed all round things had special powers.
7. Could any boy become
a Sioux Chief?
Yes. A tribe had many chiefs. Chiefs were not like kings, and
the chiefs' sons did not become chief because of their birth.
To become a chief, a boy would have to grow up to be a brave man
and lead many battles. A boy would also have to be very generous
because chiefs gave away everything they had. Chiefs gave many
feasts and gave away their horses and buffalo robes. All the chiefs
met at a tribal council to make rules for the tribe. Did
you know there were rules for times of peace and rules
for times of war?
What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the
Rawhide: hard leather made from buffalo hide
Wakan Tanka: The Great Spirit that
sent them buffalo
Sun Dance: A worshipping ceremony
performed once a year before the big buffalo hunt to ask the spirits
to bring the Sioux plenty of buffalo
Shaman: a medicine man who had
special powers to cure the sick
Heyoka: a person who made people
laugh by doing things backwards, like saying yes when he meant
no or acting cold on a hot day
Powwow: a ceremony with parades,
dances, and contests to judge the best dancing and costumes
Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the
Following Questions for Your FREE
a. What did the Sioux make out of a buffalo?
The Sioux used every part of the buffalo for many things. The
meat was used for many meals. The bones were used for toys, tools,
painting sticks, and an awl (a special kind of needle). The muscles
were used for thread and bows. The horns were used for spoons
and cups. The stomach was used for a pot for cooking and carrying
food and water. The tongue was used for special religious celebrations.
The dried buffalo droppings were used for fuel for camp fires.
The hair was used for ropes, fancy belts, and decorations. The
ribs were used for sleds. The hide was used to make rawhide (for
drums, rattles, and bags to hold dried meat and clothing, glue,
and splints) and to make soft cloth (for bags, moccasins, clothing,
pipe holders, and tipis).
b. What happened to
the Sioux when the American settlers came?
When the American settlers came, the Sioux were tricked and lost
their homes. The settlers shot the buffalo and the buffalo disappeared.
They brought strange, new germs, and thousands of Native Americans
got sick and died. They thought the Sioux should be farmers and
should not perform their most important ceremony, the Sun Dance.
By 1860, 150,000 settlers had taken over the land where the Sioux
had lived. Today, most Sioux live on reservations in North and
South Dakota. The Sioux want to decide for themselves how they
will live and need better houses, schools, and hospitals. The
Sioux of today are still doing some of the things their great-grandparents
did -- the Sun Dance is one of them.
five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
My mom has a purse made out of
The Sioux prayed to Wakan Tanka
before the big buffalo hunt.
The Sun Dance is a very festive
My mom takes me to the shaman
when I am sick.
The heyoka makes me laugh
with his goofiness.
We had a powwow with lots
of dancing and parades.
d. Have a parent or friend give you
a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.
More Valuable Information about the
Indians (National Park Service)