Collection: Life and Legends of the Sioux

Wah-Zee-Yah Another of the Great Gods of the Dahcotah

Wah-Zee-Yah had a son who was killed by Etokah Wachastah, Man of the South. Wah-zee-yah is the god of the winter, and Etokah Wachastah is the god of the summer. When there is a cold spell early in the warm weather, the Dahcotahs say Wah-zee-yah is looking back. When the son of Wah-zee-yah was killed, there were six on each side; the Beings of the south were too strong for those of the north, and conquered them. When the battle was over, a fox was seen running off with one of the Beings of the north. These gods of the

Eta Keazah or Sullen Face

Wenona was the light of her father’s wigwam the pride of the band of Sissetons, whose village is on the shores of beautiful Lake Travers. However cheerfully the fire might burn in the dwelling of the aged chief, there was darkness, for him when she was away and the mother’s heart was always filled with anxiety, for she knew that Wenona had drawn upon her the envy of her young companions, and she feared that some one of them would cast a spell 1The Indians fear that from envy or jealousy some person may cast a fatal spell upon them

The Dahcotah Bride

The valley of the Upper Mississippi presents many attractions to the reflecting mind, apart from the admiration excited by its natural beauty. It is at once an old country and a new the home of a people who are rapidly passing away and of a nation whose strength is ever advancing. The white man treads upon the footsteps of the Dahcotah the war dance of the warrior gives place to the march of civilization and the saw-mill is heard where but a few years ago were sung the deeds of the Dahcotah braves. Years ago, the Dahcotah hunted where the

The Dahcotah Convert Wabashaw

“Tell me,” said, Hiatu-we-noken-chah, or ‘woman of the night,’ “the Great Spirit whom you have taught me to fear, why has he made the white woman rich and happy, and the Dahcotah poor and miserable?” She spoke with bitterness when she remembered the years of sorrow that had made up the sum of her existence. But how with the missionary’s wife? had her life been one bright dream had her days been always full of gladness her nights quiet and free from care? Had she never longed for the time of repose, that darkness might cover her as with a

Oye-Kar-Mani-Vim, The Track Maker

It was in the summer of 183-, that a large party of Chippeways visited Fort Snelling. There was peace between them and the Sioux. Their time was passed in feasting and carousing; their canoes together flew over the waters of the Mississippi. The young Sioux warriors found strange beauty in the oval faces of the Chippeway girls; and the Chippeways discovered (what was actually the case) that the women of the Dahcotahs were far more graceful than those of their own nation. But as the time of the departure of the Chippeways approached, many a Chippeway maiden wept when she

Wenona, The Virgin’s Feast

Never did the sun shine brighter than on a cold day in December, when the Indians at “Little Crow’s” village were preparing to go on a deer hunt. The Mississippi was frozen, and the girls of the village had the day before enjoyed one of their favorite amusements a ball-play on the ice. Those who owned the bright cloths and calicoes which were hung up before their eyes, as an incentive to win the game, were still rejoicing over their treasures; while the disappointed ones were looking sullen, and muttering of partiality being shown to this one because she was

Tah-We-Chu-Kin, The Wife

In February, 1837, a party of Dahcotahs (Warpetonian) fell in with Hole-in-the-Day, and his band. When Chippeways and Dahcotahs meet there is generally bloodshed; and, however highly Hole-in-the-Day may be esteemed as a warrior, it is certain that he showed great treachery towards the Dahcotahs on many occasions. Now they met for peaceable purposes. Hole-in-the-Day wished permission to hunt on the Dahcotah lands without danger from the tomahawk of his enemies. He proposed to pay them certain articles, which he should receive from the United States Government when he drew his annuities, as a return for the privilege he demanded.

Oeche-Monesah, The Wanderer

Chaske was tired of living in the village, where the young men, finding plenty of small game to support life, and yielding to the languor and indolence produced by a summer’s sun, played at checker’s, or drank, or slept, from morn till night, and seemed to forget that they were the greatest warriors and hunters in the world. This did very well for a time; but, as I said, Chaske got tired of it. So he determined to go on a long journey, where he might meet with some adventures. Early one morning he shouldered his quiver of arrows, and

Wabashaw or the Leaf

Wabashaw, (or The Leaf,) is the name of one of the Dahcotah Chiefs. His village is on the Mississippi river, 1,800 miles from its mouth. The teepees are pitched quite near the shore, and the many bluffs that rise behind them seem to be their perpetual guards. The present chief is about thirty-five years old as yet he has done not much to give him a reputation above the Dahcotahs about him. But his father was a man whose life and character were such as to influence his people to a great degree. Wabashaw the elder, (for the son inherits

Tonwa-Yah-Pe-Kin, the Spies

It was in the spring of 1848, that several Dahcotahs were carefully making their way along the forests near the borders of the Chippeway country. There had recently been a fight near the spot where they were, and the Dahcotahs were seeking the bodies of their friends who had been slain, that they might take them home to bury them. They moved noiselessly along, for their enemies were near. Occasionally, one of them would imitate the cry of a bird or of some animal, so that if the attention of their enemies should be drawn to the spot, the slight