Last modified: 2017-08-21 by rick wyatt
Keywords: cheyenne river sioux | lakota | south dakota | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 28 December 2007
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Cheyenne River Sioux - South Dakota
The Sioux Nation is divided into four major groups, the Tetons, Santee, Yankton, and Yanktonai. The Cheyenne River Sioux are part of the Teton branch which comprises seven bands - the Oglala, Brulé, Hunkpapa, Miniconjou, Oohenonpa, Sans Arc or Itapzico, and Sihasapa (ENAT, 222-228). All seven of these bands refer to themselves as Lakota, "allies".
© Donald Healy 2008
The Lakota of the Cheyenne River Sioux fly a white flag bearing a large tribal seal that stretches across nearly the entire length of the flag. The central element is a rainbow in red over yellow over blue, representing the Cheyenne River Sioux people themselves. Atop the rainbow curve six blue thunderclouds, for the region above the world where the thunderbirds, who control the four winds, live.
The white-and-black eagle feathers hanging from the rainbow represent the spotted eagle, the protector of all Lakota. Two fused peace pipes symbolize unity: one for the Lakota, the other for all other Indian Nations. Two yellow hoops represent the Sacred Hoop that shall not be broken. In many Native American cultures, the Sacred Hoop symbolizes life on earth, and breaking the Sacred Hoop dooms the planet. The Sacred Calf Pipe Bundle in red represents Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery (Letter, Arlene Thompson, 27 Nov. 1994). The flag contains the six colors sacred to the Lakota: red, white, yellow, and black for the races of man, blue for the heavens, and green for the Mother Earth.
The Cheyenne River Sioux are known as the "Keepers of the Most Sacred Calf Pipe", a gift to all the Lakota from the "White Buffalo Calf Maiden". The white buffalo is a sacred omen to the Sioux - portending great times for Native Peoples. A white buffalo calf born in Minnesota in 1994 brought joy and excitement to the Indians of the upper Plains.
[Thanks to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Headquarters for the sample flag.]
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 28 December 2007