Lakota (Sioux) Nation


Lakhota / Dakhota / Nakhota
Sioux Literature

“-khota” means “friends” or Allies,
which is the name of all 3 (Da, La,and Na).

Original Seven Council Fires

Tradional Dakata Songs

Lakota (Sioux) Nation

Mdewakantonwan, Spirit Lake People
Wahpekute, Shooters among the Leaves
Sisseton, People of the Fish Ground (Sisseton)
Wahpetonwan, Dwellers among the Leaves (Wahpeton)
Ihanktonwana, Little Dwellers of the End (Yanktonais)
Ihanktonwan, Dwellers of the End (village)(Yankton)
Tetonwan, Dwellers on the Plains (Teton)


DLN Nation

In general, Dakhota/Nakhota (easterly) are the woodland and Lakhota the Plains peoples, so just as there are big differences in those environments and life there, there are big differences in culture and lifeways.

After the so-called “great (Sioux) uprising of 1867) the eastern people merged with the Lakhota of South Dakota and Nebraska. The 4 very small plots of land (Upper, Lower, Shakopee, Prairie Island) were essentially farms that were “awarded” to Dakhota scouts. Later a few others came back to those small patches from the Nebraska Santee Dakhota. These people tended to be or soon become rather acculturated, in comparison to the much larger groups who remained on isolated Badland camps in South Dakota.

The “D/L/N” sound-difference is not really a present method of dividing the larger group of “Lakhota” people from the two smaller ones. The history of the three divisions is the main difference. “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.

There can never be peace between nations until it is first known
that true peace is within the souls of men. We will be known forever
by the tracks we leave.”

  Poems/Songs”Singing, I send a voice as I walk,
Singing, I send a voice as I walk,
A sacred hoop I wear as I walk.”
Song of the Running Elk, Lakhota

“My paw is Sacred,
the herbs are everywhere.

My paw is Sacred,
all things are Sacred.”

Song of the Lakhota Bear Doctors


Lakota Creational Myth

In the beginning, prior to the creation of the Earth, the gods resided in an undifferentiated celestial domain and humans lived in an indescribably subterranean world devoid of culture.

Chief among the gods were Takushkanshkan (“something that moves”), the Sun, who is married to the Moon, with whom he has one daughter, Wohpe (“falling star”); Old Man and Old Woman, whose daughter Ite (“face”) is married to Wind, with whom she has four sons, the Four Winds.

Among numerous other spirits, the most important is Inktomi (“spider”), the devious trickster. Inktomi conspires with Old Man and Old Woman to increase their daughter’s status by arranging an affair
between the Sun and Ite.

The discovery of the affair by the Sun’s wife leads to a number of punishments by Takuskanskan, who gives the Moon her own domain, and by separating her from the Sun initiates the creation of time.

Old Man, Old Woman, and Ite are sent to Earth, but Ite is separated from the Wind, her husband, who, along with the Four Winds and a fifth wind presumed to be the child of the adulterous affair, establishes space.

The daughter of the Sun and the Moon, Wohpe, also falls to earth and later resides with the South Wind, the paragon of Lakota maleness, and the two adopt the fifth wind, called Wamniomni (“whirlwind”).

Black Elk Quotes

Black Elk Speaks

Black Elk Speaks 1

Black Elk Speaks 2

Black Elk Speaks Chapter 1

Black Elk Speaks Chapter 10

Black Elk Speaks Chapter 24

Black Elk Speaks Chapter 25



Hehaka Sapa was a famous wichasa wakhan and heyoka
of the Oglala Lakota who lived in the present-day United States, primarily South Dakota.
He was a second cousin of the war chief Crazy Horse.


“Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.”

“I cured with the power that came through me.
Of course, it was not I who cured, it was the power from the Outer World,
the visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole
through which the power could come to the two-leggeds.”

“If I thought that I was doing it myself,
the hole would close up and no power could come through.
Then everything I could do would be foolish.”



“Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth
and lean to hear my feeble voice.
You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.
All things belong to you — the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air,
and all green things that live.

“You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other.
You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties,
and where they cross, the place is holy.
Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.”

Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice.
At the center of the sacred hoop
You have said that I should make the tree to bloom.

With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
With running eyes I must say
The tree has never bloomed

Here I stand, and the tree is withered.
Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.

It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then
That it may leaf
And bloom
And fill with singing birds!

Hear me, that the people may once again
Find the good road
And the shielding tree.


Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy…

But anywhere is the center of the world.

A long time ago my father told me what his father had told him, that there was once a Lakota holy man, called “Drinks Water”, who dreamed what was to be… He dreamed that the four-leggeds were going back to the Earth, and that a strange race would weave a web all around the Lakotas. He said, “You shall live in square gray houses, in a barren land…” Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking. (1932)


Black Elk : A Man with a Vision/Carol Greene. Chicago: Children’s Press, 1990.

Neihardt, John G.; Black Elk Speaks; 1989; the life story of a beloved Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux.

Turtle, Eagle Walking, story and paintings; Keepers of the Fire, Journey to the Tree of Life; 1987; based on Black Elks Vision.


Black Elk’s World offers the full text of the twenty-first century edition of “Black Elk Speaks” (as told through John G. Neihardt by Nicholas Black Elk). Links within the text allow the reader to access biographies, historic and contemporary photographs, and maps of geographical features, towns, and battle sites. The glossary allows readers to view a current transcription and translation of each Lakota word within the text. Available in HTML or PDF version.


Black Elk Speaks

Sacred Pipe

Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala

Black Elk’s Story

“Hopefully, we can all quickly begin the task of mending The Sacred Hoop of Life in Black Elk’s vision and begin working together to save the Earth Mother, ourselves and all things. Let us stop killing each other and the world around us…. Instead, let us become Spiritual warriors fighting our greatest enemy – ourselves….”


Human Rights Advocacy Coalition

Lakhota Language Documents

Lakhota Art & Music

Lakhota Maps

Lakhota Prophecies

Republic of Lakotah

Russell Means Freedom

Total Immersion School

Wowapi Oti Kin
( Information Home Page)


Horse Racing

Lakota Dancers
Lakota Lullaby
Lakota Nation Cecedes
Lakota Powwow
Lakota Prayer
Lakota Quote
Lakota Song
Lakota Spirituality
Lakota Voices
Lakota Wedding Song
Lakota Woman’s Power Song
The Lakota Way
Through Lakota Eyes


Lakhota Language

Wolf, A Teton Lakhota Song

A wolf I considered myself
I have eaten nothing
From standing I am tired out.
A wolf I considered myself
The owls are hooting
The night I fear

Lakhota Prayer

Grandfather Great Spirit
All over the world
the faces of living ones are alike.

With tenderness they have
come up out of the ground.

Look upon your children that they may
face the winds and walk the good road to
the Day of Quiet.

Grandfather Great Spirit
Fill us with the Light.
Give us the strength to understand,
and the eyes to see.

Teach us to walk the soft Earth
as relatives to all that live.

Lakhota Myths and Legends

Myths and Legends of the Sioux
by McLaughlin, Marie L – 1916

A Guide to the Great Sioux (Lakhota) Nation

Great Sioux (Lakhota) Nation – List of Tribes

Powwows – Lakhota (Sioux)

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation
Weekly Newspaper Website
First Nations Language Lessons: Nakota

Last Ghost Dance

Imaging and Imagining the Ghost Dance:
James Mooney’s Illustrations and Photographs, 1891-93.
(Note: Google Search gave over 6,000 entries for “Nakota” !)


Lakhota (Brule)

Coming of Wasichu
Coyote and Wasichu
Ghost Dance at Wounded Knee
Ghost Wife
How Grandfather Peyote Came to the People
How the Crow Came to be Black
Iktome and the Ignorant Girl
Iktome has a Bad Dream
Iktome Sleeps with his Wife by Mistake
Legend of Devil’s Tower
Legend of the Flute
Man Who was Afraid of Nothing
Remaking the World
Stone Boy
Tatanka Iyotake’s dancing horse
Two Bullets and Two Arrows
Two Ghostly Lovers
Uncegila’s Seventh Spot
Vision Quest
Wakinyan Tanka, the Great Thunderbird

Lakhota Stories

Myths and Legends of the Sioux

Bashful Courtship

Brave Woman Counts Coup
(White River Lakota)

Buffalo and the Field Mouse
Coyote Dances with the Stars
Dance in a Buffalo Skull
Dream catcher
Hermit, or The Gift of Corn
How Deer Got His Horns
How Devil’s Tower Came to Be
How Dogs Came to Sniff Under Tails
How Ducks Got Their Color

How Grandfather Peyote
came to the people

How the Fox Saved The People

How the Lakota
Came Upon the World
How the Lakota Came To Be

How People Learned To Fish
How the Rabbit Lost His Tail
How the Rainbow Came to Be
Iktomi And The Coyote
Iktomi And The Ducks
Iktomi’s Blanket
Iya, The Camp-Eater
Legend of Devil’s Tower
Legend of Standing Rock

Legend of the Flute
Legend of the Thunder God

Little Brave and
the Medicine Woman

Morning Star
Mysterious Butte
Night Turned Into Day
Origin of the Lakhota Peace Pipe
Origin of the Prairie Rose
Origin of the Lakota Peace Pipe
Resuscitation of the only Daughter

Sioux Who Wrestled With A Ghost
Story of the Lost Wife
Story of the Rabbits
Sun Dance Mountain

Tatanka Hunkesi :
The Wisdom of Experience

White Plume
Whole story
Why the Leaves fall

More Stories

White Buffalo Calf Woman

A woman was hurt and left behind by her people. She ran out of
food and nearly starved, but came upon a wolf den and crawled inside.
At first the members of the pack were suspicious and afraid of her,
but eventually they grew used to her. When they brought food to their
pups they allowed her to share the food.
Eventually she was strong enough to snare rabbits and help with
the hunting. She stayed with the pack for many years.
One day the oldest wolf smelled humans coming, and strangely the
woman did also. They were her own people, and
she realized she must return to them.

She reunited herself with the village very slowly. She brought
with her the skills of the wolf. She knew from the wolf talk she
heard at night and from her sensitive nose, how to predict weather
far in advance and to alert the village when game
or other humans were nearby.

Blackfoot and Lakota believe that a gun used to kill a wolf would
never shoot straight again.

Story of the White Buffalo
Calf Woman

“Friends, with all manner of difficulties
I have been pursued. These I fear not. Still alive I am.”
Council Song
The Nakhota are very much
alive and well, thanks to:
Lee Crowchild
Steve Fourstar
The Dakhota are more easterly,
and the “L” sound of their dialect
is more like a “d”.
Those members living in Minnesota are all Dakhota. Lakhota are more westerly and survive in much greater numbers.

The Nakota consist of three main bands today:

Ihanktonwan- Reservations at: Yankon, Standing Rock, Spirit Lake

Ihanktonwanna- Reservations at: Yankon, Crow Creek, Fort Peck

Assiniboin- Reservations at: Fort Peck, Fort Belknap

The French traders referred to the Nakhota as the “Assiniboine”.

Dakhota Stories

How the Fawn Got Its Spots

How Turtle Flew
South for the Winter

Legend of Creation
Iktomi And The Muskrat
Iktomi And The Fawn
Story of Creation
Teton Ghost Story
Tree-Bound (by Zitkala-Sa)


Nakhota Pages

Nakhota Language

Native Peoples of Minnesota

The Nakhota of Canada (Assiniboine/Nakota)

Ihanktonwan Nakota Oyate
Established: Treaty of Washington, 1858
(Yankton Sioux People)

Other Stories

Buffalo Skies

Corn Balls
(Wahuwapa Wasna)

Eta Keazah
(Sullen Face)

Haokah Ozape
(The Dance to the Giant)

Holy Story

How the North Wind

Lost His Birthright

Spirits of the Dahcotahs

A Bashful Courtship

A Little Brave And
The Medicine Woman

Black Corn Brings The First Pipe
Children Of The Land
Comment on Cultural Theft
Coyote and Wasichu
Coyote Dances With The Stars
Coyote, Iktome, and the rock
Crazy Horse
Creation of the Buffalo Nation
Creation story
Dance In A Buffalo Skull
Dream catcher
Faithful Lovers
Heoka the Thunder God
Heyoka Ceremony
How Catfish Got a Flat Head
How Deer Got His Horns
How Devil’s Tower Came to Be
How Dogs Came to Sniff Under Tails
How Ducks Got Their Color
How Grandfather Peyote came to the people
How People Learned to Fish
How The Fox Saved The People
How the Lakota Came To Be
How The Rabbit Lost His Tail
How the Rainbow Came to Be
How The Sioux Came To Be
How True Dog Came To Be
Origin of the Lakota Peace Pipe
Story of the Lost Wife
Story of the Rabbits
Tatanka Hunkesi : The Wisdom of Experience
The Buffalo and the Field Mouse
The Origin of the Prairie Rose
The Resuscitation of the only Daughter
White Plume
Whole story

Lakota / Brule

How Grandfather Peyote came to the people
How the Crow Came to be Black
How The Lakota Came To Be

Lakota / White River

Brave Woman Counts Coup
Chief Roman Nose Loses His Medicine
Coyote, Iktome and the Roc

American Horse Little Crow Spotted Tail
Big Foot Little Horse Standing Bear
Black Elk Low Dog Stranger Horse
Buffalo Medison Rain in the Face Struck by the Ree
Crazy Horse Red Cloud Tokacon
Crow Dog Red Hawk Touch The Clouds
Crow King Red Horse Trembling Earth
Flat Iron Red Iron Two Strike
Gall Running Antelope Wanata
Hole in the Day Sitting Bull Wapasha
Iron Shell Sleepy Eyes White Bull
Jack Red Cloud Spotted Eagle Young Man Afraid of His Horses

Chief Hollow Horn Bear


Seth Hollow Horn Bear
great-grandson of Chief Hollow Horn Bear

Michael B. Davis,
Joseph Brown Thunder

Great-great grandsons of American Horse

Gilbert Walking Bull
Descendant of Crazy Horse

Greg McGaa
Hakikte Narjin Jordan (Sicanju)

Great-great-great grandsons of Red Cloud


“Buffalo Nation, The People are depending upon you, so
we pray you will be healthy.”

“I have attended dinners among white people.
Their ways are not our ways.”

“We eat in silence, quietly smoke a pipe, and depart.
Thus is our host honored.”

“This is not the way of the white man. After his food has been eaten,
one is expected to say foolish things. Then the host feels honored.”

Four Guns, Oglala, Lakhota

“Children are our greatest treasure.
The new generation coming up.
We won’t disappear. We shall live!”

Pete Catches, Oglala, Lakhota

“The reason Wakan Tanka does not make two birds or animals or
human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by
Wakan Tanka to be an individual and to rely on itself.”

Shooter, Teton

“Tell your people that since the Great father promised that we should
never be removed, we have been moved five times.
I think you had better
put the Indians on wheels and you can run
them about wherever you wish.”

White Bull

“We are all poor because we are honest.”

Red Dog, Oglala, Lakhota

Are we then to give up their sacred graves
to be plowed for corn.
Dakhotas, I am for war.”

Mahpiua Luta, Oglala, Lakhota

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