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Hunkpapa




Vestal, Stanley
Sitting Bull Champion Of The Sioux : a biography / by Stanley Vestal. - Norman : University of Oklaoma press, 1932, -  349 s. : ill.

Vestal, Stanley
New Sources Of Indian History 1850 1891 : The Ghost Dance The Prairie Sioux : A Miscellany. - Norman : University of Oklahoma press, 1934. -351 s. - (The civilization of the american Indian)

By the time of the establishment of Standing Rock Agency in the aftermath of the Treaty of 1868 the sacred hoop of the Hunkpapa tribe comprised as many as nine organized camps.

An early missionary obtained a complete list and the order assigned to the camps within the Hunkpapa tribal circle. Beginning with the position at the south side of the camp entrance, and continuing clockwise around the circle to the north side, the camps were ordered as follows: 

According to the Standing Rock informants of historian Stanley Vestal, whose biography of Sitting Bull and other writings are major contributions to Sioux history, the nine camps were grouped into two major tribal sub-divisions. These two maximal bands were called: (a) Icira, which Vestal’s informants translated as the “Band that separated & went together again.” (b) Canka Ohan, or Sore-Backs (of horses). 

The Icira comprised bands 3-7 in the list above. Vestal sought detailed information on this group because it included Sitting Bull and his relatives. On Sitting Bull’s band affiliation he learned that it was “called the Bad Bows Band. Sometimes called Icira because Sitting Bull was chief of Icira & they joined [the] Bad Bows Band – Sitting Bull became chief”. Vestal devoted less inquiry to the second group, but the Sore-Backs undoubtedly comprised bands 1, 2, and possibly 8 and 9 in the list above. 

We know that bands 1 and 2 were connected because two of the leading tiwahe were led by men who called each other ‘brother’ – Bear Ribs I and Running Antelope. Vestal’s observations are important because the two big divisions seem to have developed distinct political positions in relation to the Americans. The Icira division, which probably ranged further west, was opposed to American expansion and would take a lead in the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. The Sore-Backs division, whose hunting grounds were further east along the Missouri River, took a more peaceful attitude and its bands first settled at Standing Rock Agency. 

Read more:  http://amertribes.proboards.com/thread/2182/hunkpapa-tribal-structur#ixzz5fV0Ou97E

© Staffan Jansson 2017