Sitting Bull Thesis

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Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Lakota chief and holy man, born in 1831 in present-day South Dakota. Son of honored Sioux warrior Returns-Again, Sitting Bull idolized his father and wanted to be exactly like him, but he struggled initially in skill; he lacked natural talent for violence, and thus was deemed “Slow” in his early years. A few years later at fourteen, he would assist in war against a rival tribe. He would be given the new name of “Tatanka-Iyotanka”; a Lakota phrase meaning “a buffalo sitting”. Growing up, Sitting Bull’s destiny was seemingly shaped by the conflicts the Native peoples were fronting in the face of white settlers moving in on their land and ways of life. He would eventually go against the United States; in 1863, he was…show more content…
The Black Hills had previously been declared Native American holy land under the Laramie Treaty. However, whites in search of gold repeatedly trespassed into the Black Hills, and the Laramie Treaty was conveniently tabled by the U.S. government to allow these prospectors to trespass; subsequently, the United States declared war on any Native Americans found conflicting with the whites trespassing on their land. Sitting Bull rejected this adamantly; he avidly believed in the future of his people and their way of life. He conducted a Sundance Ceremony at the Little Bighorn River where he danced for 36 hours without stopping, depriving himself of water and rest, and slicing 50 pieces of flesh from his arms in sacrifice. At the conclusion of the ceremony, he told the community of Native Americans that he had had a vision in which the U.S. Army was overcome. Sitting Bull would go on to lead from the sidelines a successful conquering of General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn; at this point he was past fighting years, but sent two nephews into battle in his stead, White Bull and One Bull. An estimated 80 Lakota and Cheyenne were killed in this conflict, along with a total obliteration of all five companies of General Custer. Because Sitting Bull led this great victory from the sidelines, many rumors spread about him with common people, especially settlers. Some even
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