Sitting Bull Room

About Sitting Bull

Iyotanka. He first went into battle at the age of 14 in a raid on the Crow, and as a young man was a leader of the Strong Heart warrior society. Highly regarding and respected for his bravery and insight, he became the head chief of the Lakota nation in about1868.

In the many years to come he was renowned as a fearless warrior that effectively held the tide of the US Army. His commitment to his religious beliefs made him a highly regarded holy man. He led the sun dance ceremony in response to prospectors and soon after the US Army invasion of the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. At a gathering that included Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho, Sitting Bull offered prayers and slashed his arms one hundred times as a sign of sacrifice to the Great Spirit. He had a vision that led to victory at the Little Big Horn River over General Custer.

In 1877 he led his people across the border with Canada, beyond the reach of the US Army. Four years later, with the Buffalo almost extinct and his people begging to starve, Sitting Bull moved south to surrender. On July 19, 1881, his rifle was handed over to the commanding office at Fort Buford. In 1885 Sitting Bull was allowed to join Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West Show” earning $50 a week. He stayed with the show for only four months, unable to tolerate white society any longer. Sitting Bull had met Annie Oakley the year before and watched her snuff a candle with a rifle shot. He gave her his moccasins he had worn at the Little Bighorn and the nickname Watanya Cicilla, Little Sure shot. Anytime the great warrior chief would become petulant, Little Sure Shot would come to his tent and talk for a while, and do her famous little jig before leaving to lift the spirits of Sitting Bull. Returning to the reservation, Sitting Bull lived in a cabin on the Grand river, near to where he was born. He refused to give up the Lakota ways, living with his two wives and continuing to practice his religion instead of Christian practice that was required by the reservation.

December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was surrounded by 43 Indian police who had been ordered to bring him in. In the gunfight that ensued, Sitting Bull was shot through the head. He was remembered as an inspiration leader, a great warrior, one with prophetic insight, a loving father, a gifted singer, and a man always friendly to others.

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