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Old May 22nd, 2011, 12:57 PM   #1

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Lakota Warrior Societies


Among the Lakota there existed several Warrior Societies. From some of these, prominent men were chosen to serve in the a
Aki'cita, a tribal police force, or guard unit, if you will. They also were responsible for the order of the annual Buffalo hunt.
The main function of these societies was for the training and development of fighting skills and the warrior ethos. Moral character was also cultivated and taught.

Kangi'yuha, Crow owners society- Were a prominent group who was eligible for service in the Aki'cita. Members were proven warriors who emulated the crow, in that they strove to be first in striking in battle, as the crow was first to fall upon dead warriors on the field. With arrows that flew straight, as the crow and with a stuffed crow worn around the neck in battle. They also were chosen to search out winter camps.

Toka'la, Kit Fox Society- another prominent Aki'cita society, wore a fox skin around the shoulders, head hanging in front and tail down the back. Warriors were expected to pledge bravery, generosity and honor, in all affairs. They were renowned for concern and good acts within the tribe in peacetime and in war. They were noted as volunteers for whatever the tribe needed done.

Cante'tinza, Strong Heart Society-Members pledged self-control in ther thoughts and actions. Emotional stability as well, and to care for the poor and needy. Often seen wearing a feather headress with buffalo horns on the sides. Another Aki'cita eligible society.

Ino'ka, Badger Society-Also Aki'cita eligible, the order was founded by a man who dreamed a badger, and pledged to take on th aspect of the fearless badger. So, the society was renowned for extreme ferocity in battle, and fought fearlessly despite the number of the enemy. They displayed crooked lances wrapped in wolf skin and otter fur on the wrists and around the neck. It is said they embedded mirrors in the otter fur to reflect the sun and blind the enemy in battle.

Wi'ciska, White Marked Society-They wore feathered headdresses, trailing to the ground and the members were hardened veterans. They collected white, black tipped eagle feathers, as honors in battle.

Sotka'yuha, Bare Lance Owners Society-Often comprised of younger warriors, the bare lance was symbolic of a warrior waiting to collect war honors in battle.

Miwa'tani, Mandan Society-Also called the owl headdress society. Admission was difficult in that each member pledged to sacrifice his life, if need be, to save a wounded comrade. They wore a long sash which they would stake into the ground, pinning themselves so they could not retreat in a desperate battle. They would fight to the death and not submit. They could only move from the spot if a fellow Mandan member released them.

Sunk'ska akan'yanka, White Hose Riders Society-These were battle veterans who made markings on their white horses to display their valorous acts to enemies. They also fed the families of incapacitated warriors.

Oma'ha. Grass Dance Society-the traditions originated with the Omaha tribe. They danced ceremoniously, the Grass dance, for healing, and the Horse and Kettle dances.


It was not uncommon for warriors to belong to more than one society as he progressed in life, but was only a member of one society at a time.

Wi'ciska:
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #2
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Fascinating!!!!

Here is some resource material

Wissler, Clark. Societies and Ceremonial Associations in the Oglala Division of the Teton Dakota. American Museum of Natural History, Anthropological Papers, Vol. 11, Part 1, New York, 1912.

Mails, Thomas E. The Mystic Warriors of the Plains. Doubleday & Co. Inc., New York, 1972.



Societies of the Plains Indians : Wissler, Clark, 1870-1947, ed : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:58 PM   #3

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Thanks for that link, Carlisle!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:45 AM   #4

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Great read, but no mention of Crazy Horse?
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:47 AM   #5

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^ I believe the Order that grew around him was an informal one. At least a new one with no historical roots. I did find this though:

The only reference that I am familiar with is from Neihardt's interview with Eagle Elk in 1944:

"Crazy Horse had an organization. I refer to a sort of organization where they don't feast and dance, but they were just followers of [him and consisted of] more than forty selected warriors. This organization was called the Last Child [Society] (Ho-ksi-ha-ka-ta). They were all very brave warriors and always went out with him and fought with him. He picks the last child in the family. If they did get deeds or something very brave, then they would have greater honor than the first child. They were always making themselves greater. I had three older sisters, an older brother and a young brother. The older brother was killed in a war.

"One day a crier for the Last Child came around and picked certain people from different families. The crier called my name, but I did not know it [then}. That is how I joined the Last Child."
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Old May 24th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #6

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Interesting, strict warrior society's, the kids future is certain to be a tough one, kind of reminds of the Spartan way a little, as for Crazy horse wasnt he classed as Oglala tribe? and am i rite in saying Lakota are a sub-tribe of the Sioux?
seems they are all connected in some way, its all fascinating stuff

Oglala Lakota Sioux Indians perform their traditional spiritual Ghost Dance Ceremony at Pine Ridge Wounded Knee encampment Dec 1890

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http://home.comcast.net/~zebrec/

Last edited by olly; May 24th, 2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #7

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Thanks for the info Uncle! I wish I could learn the language. I doubt Rosetta Stone has it

I find the Sioux fascinating and amazing people. (That's saying something from a guy with my Avatar)
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Old May 24th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by olly View Post
Interesting, strict warrior society's, the kids future is certain to be a tough one, kind of reminds of the Spartan way a little, as for Crazy horse wasnt he classed as Oglala tribe? and am i rite in saying Lakota are a sub-tribe of the Sioux?
seems they are all connected in some way, its all fascinating stuff

Oglala Lakota Sioux Indians perform their traditional spiritual Ghost Dance Ceremony at Pine Ridge Wounded Knee encampment Dec 1890

Click the image to open in full size.

Oglala Sioux Tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation 1/1/08
Yes, you are right, he ghost dance was very powerful medicine, so much it was outlawed. I doubt that the Calvary forces had anything of that nature to spiritually buttress their efforts. Similarly the Potlatch was outlawed for the Indians of the Northwest in 1885.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 10:23 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jegates View Post
Thanks for the info Uncle! I wish I could learn the language. I doubt Rosetta Stone has it

I find the Sioux fascinating and amazing people. (That's saying something from a guy with my Avatar)
I know Custer respected them as well. And they him.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 06:06 AM   #10

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Was there a thing a few years back that the Lakota wish to withdraw from the 150 year old treaties agreement, and have lands returned such as Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming?

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