Sitting Bull and his Sun Dance
Early summer is the season for Sun Dance among the Sioux
people. I had pledged one hundred pieces of flesh to the Great
Spirit, and I fulfilled my vow. My brother Jumping Bull cut
tiny pieces of skin—fifty from each arm—using an awl and a
sharp knife. I danced two days and two nights. God sent me a
vision. I saw white soldiers and enemy Indians on horseback
falling into the Sioux camp. They were coming down like
grasshoppers, head first, with their hats falling off. Just then I
heard a voice from above, saying, "I give you these because
they have no ears!"
Black Moon was conducting the Sun Dance. He announced this vision to all who were present, all the Sioux
and Cheyennes who were traveling together. We were
camped on the Rosebud River at that time, three days before we defeated the white soldiers there and ten days before our
victory on the Little Bighorn.
The band of Cheyennes
that I lived with had about forty
family lodges. In the last part of the winter we camped on thewest side of Powder River, not far above the mouth of Little Powder River. Soldiers came early one morning in March
1876. They got between our camp and our horse herds, so
that all of us had to run away on foot. Not many of our people were killed, but our tepees and everything in them were burned. Three days later, all of us walking, we arrived at the camp of Crazy Horse, the Oglala Sioux chief.
The Oglalas gave us food and shelter. After a few days the
two bands went northward and found the Hunkpapa Sioux,
where Sitting Bull was chief. The leaders of the three tribes
decided that all of us should travel together for the spring and summer hunting.
We moved from place to place as the grass came up.
Because Indians kept coming from the Dakota reservation,
our three bands grew larger and larger. Other tribal bands
joined us. Miniconjou Sioux, Blackfeet Sioux, Arrows All
Gone Sioux—all came with us. There were then six separate
camp circles, each having its own chiefs, wherever we
camped. In some of the other camps there were small bands of
other Sioux—the Burned Thigh, the Assiniboine, and some
Waist and Skirt people.
All of us traveled together to the west side of the lower
Powder River, on west across the Tongue River, and then to
the Rosebud valley where the grass was high and our ponies
became strong. Our men killed many buffalo, and we women tanned the hides and dried the meat as we moved from place to place up the Rosebud.
Low Dog Oglala
At that time we Oglalas had no thought that we would ever fight the whites. Then I heard some people talking that the chief of the white men wanted the Indians to live where he ordered and do as he said, and he would feed and clothe them.
I was called into council with the chiefs and wise men, and we had a talk about that. My judgment was, Why should I allow
any man to support me against my will anywhere, so long as 1
have hands and so long as I am an able man, not a boy? Little I thought then that I would have to fight the white man, or do as he should tell me.
When it began to be plain that we
would have to yield or fight, we had a great many councils. I said, Why should I be kept as a humble man, when I am a brave warrior and on my own lands? The game is mine, and
the hills, and the valleys, and the white man has no right tosay where I shall go or what I shall doIf any white man tries to destroy what is mine, or take my lands, I will take my gun,get on my horse, and go punish him.
(some data from "It Is a Good Day to Die. The Indian side of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Thanks
To H. J. Viola and Jan Danis, please check the book out.