Two Kettles Sioux Tribe

Two Kettle Indians, Two Kettle Lakota, Oohenonpa Tribe, Oohenonpa Indians,  (‘two boilings’ ). A division of the Teton Sioux, commonly known as Two Kettle Sioux, or Two Kettles; also a subdivision thereof. No mention of it is made by Lewis and Clark, Long, or other earlier explorers. It is stated in a note to De Smet’s Letters (1843) that the band was estimated at 800 persons. Culbertson (1850) estimated them at 60 lodges, but gives no locality and says they have no divisions. Gen. Warren (1856) found them much scattered among other bands and numbering about 100 lodges. Gumming 1 places them on the south side of the Missouri. Hayden (1862) says they passed up and down Cheyenne river as far as Cherry creek and Moreau and Grand rivers, not uniting with other bands. Their principal chief then was Matotopa, or Four Bears, a man of moderate capacity but exercising a good influence on his people. They lived entirely on the plains, seldom going to war, and were good hunters and shrewd in their dealings with the traders. They treated with respect white men who came among them as traders or visitors.

They were on the warpath in 1866 at the time of the Ft Phil. Kearney massacre, yet it is not certain that they took an active part in this attack. By treaty made at Ft Sully, Dakota, on Oct. 19, 1865, they agreed to cease attacking whites or Indians except in self defense and to settle permanently on designated lands. This treaty was signed on their behalf by chiefs Chatanskah (White Hawk), Shonkahwakkonkedeshkah (Spotted Horse), Mahtotopah (Four Bears), and others, and was faithfully observed by them unless they were in the Sitting Bull uprising of 1876, which is doubtful.

Neither contagion nor war materially reduced the number of the Oohenonpa, which seems to have remained comparatively stationary up to 1887, when it was reported as 642, the last separate official enumeration. They reside on Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota, with Sihasapa, Miniconjou, and Sans Arcs.

Only two subdivisions were known to Dorsey, the Oohenonpah and Mawakhota.Citations:

  1. Rep. Ind. Aff. for 1856[]


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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