Bands at Little Bighorn
F. Waggoner wrote that there were four Hunkpapa bands
in exile with Sitting Bull in Canada. No doubt these were
the core of the Hunkpapa who were at the Little Big Horn.
She lists the following bands, but does anyone know who
the leaders of the individual bands were?
1. Icira -- Sitting Bull and Four Horns
when the Hunkpapa were shipped to Standing Rock Agency
following their surrender in 1880-81, they were divided
into four bands but without listing the band names:
Sitting Bull and Four Horns
2. Crow King
just recalled another list of "Uncpapa" bands,
from a record of rations issued to band Chiefs at Standing
Rock in July, 1885 (RG 75 Records of the Bureau of Indian
Affairs - Standing Rock Agency, Fort Yates, North Dakota
Roll 5A: Record of Rations Issued 1885
National Archives, Kansas City 1977). You can view it
for yourself at:
counted no less than twenty-seven Hunkpapa Chiefs, although
their specific band names were not listed. Perhaps by
this time the agent had appointed some Chiefs of his own,
as it is documented that McLaughlin promoted his favorites
to positions of power within the reservation system. It
is also noted in the original list that several of these
men had signed the November 1882 treaty, which is also
interesting. Here is a list of the Chiefs' names in Lakota
Rock ‘UNCPAPA’ - 14 - 27 July 1885 - (Hunkpapa Band Chiefs)
Cetan Wakiyan Chief Thunder Hawk
2) Mato Cuwiyuksa Chief Broken Bear Rib
3) Wanbli Wakantuya Chief High Eagle
4) Mato Ite Chief Bear's Face
5) Akicita Hanska Chief Long Soldier
6) Mato Ocinsica Chief Cross Bear
7) Tejikjice Chief Belly Fat
8) Tatoka Iyanke Chief Running Antelope
9) Mato Wakantuya Chief High Bear
King’s two daughters belonged to this band after his death
in 1884, although they were later adopted by Major James
Mclaughlin, the agent at Standing Rock, and his wife,
Marie. McLaughlin mentioned in his book “My Friend the
Indian” that Crow King had a brother named High Bear who
pre-deceased him. Perhaps another brother adopted the
name at a later time?)
Mato Wayuhi Chief Scattering Bear
11) Wakiyan Watakpe Chief Charging Thunder
12) Pizi Chief Gall
13) Wanbli Rita Chief Grey Eagle
14) Wi Sapa "No. 1" Chief Black Moon
15) Ocinsica Kte Chief Kill With Anger
16) Izuzu Chief Grind Stone
17) Tatanka He Gleska Chief Spotted Horn Bull
18) Oape Ota Chief Struck Plenty
19) Mato Kawinge Chief Circling Bear
20) Tatanka Iyotake Chief Sitting Bull
21) Wakiyan Ohitika Chief Brave Thunder
22) Mazakan Wicuki Chief Takes the Gun
23) He Topa Chief Four Horns
24) Huhu Canrpi Chief Bone Tomahawk
25) Marpiya Iyapato Chief Against the Cloud
26) Tahu Wanica Chief No Neck
27) Mato Hakikta Chief Bear Looking Back
there are a number of Hunkpapa bands. Waggoner however
wrote (in her unpublished papers at the Museum of the
Fur Trade, Chadron, NE; she also compiled the Susan Betteyloun
autobiography published by University of Nebraska Press)
that there were four bands with Sitting Bull in Canada.
I am trying to link the four bands in Canada with the
bands as they appear in the agency records after their
surrender which are only listed by the name of the headman.
I can post the names of some of the Hunkpapa agency bands
as well, if interested.
important elements to remember when looking at the Hunkpapa
bands. First, there was considerable pressure from the
Office of Indian Affairs to break the influence of the
chiefs. Agent McLaughlin at Standing Rock explained in
one of his annual reports that one way to do that was
to have as many leaders as possible with very small bands.
Eventually everyone would be a headman and the chiefs
would therefore have no following. Hence, during the 1880's,
you see a sudden rise in the number of Hunkpapa bands
such as illustrated on your list.
remember that there are apparently two levels of social
organization within a tribe like the Hunkpapa. First,
there are the tiyospaye, which are a group of smaller
family bands (wicotipi). Tiyospaye were originally defined
by their own hunting grounds; wicotipi were more often
groups of closely related family members. Once the Hunkpapa
and the other Lakota tribes were forced onto reservations,
the distinction between tiyospaye and wicotipi appears
to have disappeared and they became essentially the same.
trying to reconstruct the original Lakota political structure,
it is important to know whether the name of a "band"
is a tiyospaye or a wicotipi. For example, one of the
major Oglala tiyospaye were the Kiyuksa or Cut Off band,
which consisted of a number of small family groups such
as the Kuinyan, built around the family of Little Wound.
— Ephriam Dickson
September 1876, the following Hunkpapa bands were recorded
at the Standing Rock Agency:
Hawk -- 15 lodges (95 people)
Bears Rib -- 4 lodges (30 people)
Running Antelope -- 13 lodges (75 people)
Iron Horn -- 3 lodges (20 people)
Belly Fat -- 6 lodges (40 people)
Long Soldier -- 4 lodges (25 people)
Medicine Man -- 7 lodges (46 people)
White Eye -- 4 lodges (26 people)
Bad Hand -- 7 lodges (40 people)
Black Bird -- 3 lodges (20 people)
Red Horse -- 10 lodges (65 people)
— Ephriam Dickson
did find this information online at a genealogical site
that talks about the Hunkpapa divisions:
will quote here the information that specifically deals
with the Hunkpapa band names:
subdivisions as given by J. O. Dorsey are:
(8) Wakan, and
(Smithson. Rep. 1850, 141, 1851) mentions the following
medicine-man band (Wakan),
Half breechclout people (Chegnakeokisela),
Fresh meat necklace people (Talonapin),
Sleepy Kettle band (Cheokhba),
Sore backs (Chankaokhan),
Bad bows (Tinazipeshicha), and
Those that carry.
Fire-Heart's band (Chantaapeta's band) is supposed to
be a part of the Hunkpapa."
recognized the name 'Talonapin' from your original list,
which, according to this article, is the same band that
I recall having seen in Walter Campbell's notes, and which
he referred to as "Fresh meat necklace people".
names can also be found in W. J. McGee's article, "The
Siouan Indians: A Preliminary Sketch," published
in the 15th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (Smithsonian).
to Frances Densmore's informants Sitting Bull's band was
the Bad Bows (Tinazipe-sica), which is in the lists posted
by Glenbow. Vestal's informants consistently identify
Sitting Bull with the Icira band, a name not listed in
19th Century tabulations. The Icira may be a small sub-band
within the Bad Bows - alternatively, perhaps it's an over-arching
title for two or more bands that habitually 'ran together':
see Ephriam's discussion of the nested nature of Lakota
first list posted by Glenbow above is a snapshot of the
Hunkpapa tribal circle ca. 1880 - the order of the bands
follows the camp-circle from band no. 1 on the south side
of the camp entrance round to band no. 9 on the north
side or 'horn'. The translations of the names are as follows.
Where we know a chief or leader I've added it:
Chankaohan, Sore Backs chief Running Antelope
2. Che-ohkba, Sleepy Penis chiefs Little Bear (pre-1866),
Tall Soldier, Bear Face
3. Tinazipe-sica, Bad Bow chief Sitting Bull
4. Talonapin, Fresh Meat Necklace chief Charging Thunder
(post-1880, a Densmore informant)
5. Kiglashka, Tie Their Own
6. Chegnaka-okisela, Half Breechcloth
7. Siksicela, Bad Ones
8. Wakan, Holy
9. Hunska-cantojuha, Legging Tobacco Pouches.
still leaves us in the dark about the band affiliations
of key leaders such as Gall, Crow King. —
have managed to find a good deal of the Campbell papers
that I received from the University of Oklahoma Library,
although I still have not pinpointed the exact document
I was hoping to find. Campbell's notes from the field
appear to have been hastily written in point form, and
some interpretation is required by the reader. For example,
he often uses initals to designate an individual, so it
is important that his information is not misinterpreted,
and there is often a question and answer format from the
transcriptions of his interviews with Lakota Elders. So
far, I've managed to find one interesting reference to
a band of Hunkpapa that went to Canada after the Custer
Battle. It is from Notebook 12, Box No. 105, on the cover
of which is hand writtten "Old Bull / White Bull".
I have injected my own interpretations in brackets:
OB [Old Bull] 1 yr old - 1851: Following chiefs made:
1) 4 Horns
2) Red - [Horn]
3) Loud Hawk
4) Running Antelope
that just lodge - no chiefs -
peo[ple] already in Can[ada] when SB [Sitting Bull] starts
go to Canada? yr spring after Custer - 77
OB [Old Bull] with Sitting Bull - already there
of White Crows [Kangi Ska?] bands there -
White Crow = name of whole band -
leader = Shoots the Enemy Hunk[papa]"
following information is from Walter Campbell's research
notes (Box 105, notebook 35, entitled "Two Bulls
on Custer Battle & Sitting Bull"). Please note
that these are once again jotted notes, apparently handwritten
by Campbell himself:
Little Mo [Missouri] in camp
Circling Bear & father there
Horns same band but not sure of kin to S.B. [Sitting Bull]
Black Moon adopted father of [Sitting Bull]
Hail - not sure a chief
of [words "S.B. band' scratched out]
1) 4 Horns
2) Red - [Horn(s?)]
3) Running Antelope
4) Charge the Tiger
all counselors of Humkpapa -
up to 1850 [ this is barely legible]
- of above
A) 4+1. Band that separated & went
[following brackets are Campbells:]
[icira (ichicra gutteral 'r')]
named after Sore Back of horses
2. Long Dog
3. Running Horse
4. SB [Sitting Bull]
1. " Breechclout
2. " Meat Necklace
3. " Had discord & thrown aside band -
groups Hunkpapa -
Red Horn head chief ?? [Frank] Zahn doubted"
Josephine Waggoner Papers (courtesy Kingsley) noted that
there were four Hunkpapa bands in exile in Canada:
1. Icira -- Sitting Bull, Four Horns, Red Horn and Black
2. Talonapin -- Charging Thunder
3. Cangiska (Kangiska) -- Gall
4. Cankahuran -- Cross Bear and Running Antelope [since
both of these men led agency bands, was there a part of
the Sorebacks who were in Canada with Sitting Bull?]
when the Hunkpapa were sent to Standing Rock Agency shortly
after their surrender, they were divided into four major
1. Sitting Bull and Four Horns
2. Crow King
4. Rain in the Face
Is it too much to hope that they in fact represent the
four bands that Waggoner wrote of? Lets take each one
1. Waggoner had already identified Sitting Bull and Four
Horn's band as the Icira.
2. Crow King was counted at Standing Rock Agency in September
1881 with 285 people. By December of that year, the agency
officials were recording these people in two bands: Crow
King's (163 people) and Charging Thunder (136 people).
By 1883, Crow King's band was shown divided again, between
Crow King (113 people) and Scattering Bear (48 people),
with Charging Thunder numbering 137 people. Following
Crow King's death in 1884, High Bear was listed as the
head of this band in agency records. Waggoner listed Charging
Thunder as Talo-napin; can we assume that in fact all
three groups belonged to this band (or at least were closely
3. Gall. Waggoner listed Gall's band as the Kangiska.
4. By the process of elimination, this leaves making a
connection between Rain in the Face and the Soreback band.
I cannot make that connection yet, but suspect it is there.
I am just beginning to track his band through the Standing
Rock records. It is of interest to note that Rain in the
Face is shown in Bear's Face band (one of the agency bands)
in the 1885 census. —
found something else in the Campbell notes regarding the
Hunkpapa band names. On page 15 of Folder #8, Box 105
is written the following:
of bands in Hunkpapa tribe when Sitting Bull was chief
[after 1867?] -
Sitting Bull's Band called Bad Bulls [the word "Bows"
written above] Band. Sometimes called Icira because Sitting
Bull was chief of Icira & they joined Bad Bull's Band
- Sitting Bull became chief
2) Red Horn's Band called Sore Back
3) Long Horn's Band called Holy
4) Gall's Band called Meat Necklace"
latest bit of information only manages to confuse things
more, as Gall is here associated with the Talonapin, after
having already been designated as a member or Chief of
the Kangi Ska and possibly Half Breechclout bands. I am
not sure who Campbell's informant was for this particular
information, although I can probably find out. It would
seem that the Lakota oral tradition was not infallible,
and facts could possibly have become blurred over the
years. As for Rain-in-the-Face, was he ever positively
identified as a Chief? In the 1885 annuity record from
Standing Rock, he is listed as a member of the band led
by Chief Bear's Face (Bear's Head?) whom I believe I read
somewhere was his brother. —
the four Hunkpapa bands enrolled at Standing Rock, summer
1881 (Sitting Bull & Four Horns; Crow King; Gall;
Rain in the Face) SB & FH equate with Waggoner's Icira.
I feel reasonably confident that we can identify Crow
King's band with the Talonapin, Fresh Meat Necklace, and
that his sub-band and those of Charging Thunder and Scattering
Bear together comprise that band. Gall is identified with
Waggoner's Kangi-ska, White Crow band - a name also mentioned
in the Campbell data , but not mentioned in the 19th Century
Hunkpapa band lists. It must tie in with one or more of
the bands in the contemporary tribal circle listed in
my last post.
in the Face is the last band leader to tie up. Interestingly,
his band surrendered at Fort Keogh on the Yellowstone
rather than at the posts along the upper Missouri (Buford,
Wolf Point etc.) where the other Hunkpapa surrendered.
It's tempting to tie him up with Waggoner's Sore Backs,
but it doesn't seem quite so neat. As Ephriam notes, in
the 1885 SR census he is listed in Bear's Face's band.
In the Waggoner papers at the Museum of the Fur Trade,
Chadron, NE, there is a biographical profile of Bear Face,
where he is named as the head chief of the "Ceyorwa"
band of Hunkpapa. This name equates with the Che-okhba
or Sleepy P-nis band (I'm trying to circumvent the site's
inbuilt bowdlerising facility, which rendered this name
as Sleepy Thingy in my previous post!). Bear Face was
a brother of Rain in the Face - see James McLaughlin,
'My Friend the Indian' p. 226 f, so I'm confident that
Rain's natal band was the Che-okhba.
said that note that Sore Backs and Che-okhba are neighbours
as bands 1 and 2 in the camp-circle, which usually means
that they are related or sister bands.
back in time, the Campbell infor' has huge implications
for earlier Hunkpapa history. In the spirit of a brainstorming
session, I read the data as follows: originally, there
was a basic binary division of the Hunkpapa tribe into
two primary bands (again, review Ephriam's analysis of
the nesting of sub-divisions). One was the Sore Backs,
the other was the Icira. The informant goes on to give
Campbell a rather detailed breakdown of the composition
of the Icira sub-bands, including the Breechclout, Meat
Necklace, and Had discord and thrown aside band. These
correspond to the camp-circle bands I listed as Half Breechcloth,
Fresh Meat Necklace, and Siksicela. Since Densmore identifies
Sitting Bull with the Bad Bows band, that too must be
a part of the larger Icira grouping. Note how these bands
comprise a bloc within the camp-circle. Unfortunately
the informant doesn't go into detail in breaking down
the Sore Back division, but I suggest it included at least
the Che-okhba band next to it in the tribal circle. Interestingly
Lewis & Clark and Tabeau in 1804 also break down the
Hunkpapa into two major bands - I suspect that their Saone-Hontpapa
corresponds to the Sore Backs division, their Tackchandeseechar
band to the Icira. —
worked through my Waggoner notes and thought I'd post
the band identifications of certain Hunkpapa individuals.
All statements from Waggoner:
Face, 1830-1915: head chief of Ceyorwa band. He talked
with Miles October 1876 under flag of truce with Crow
Feather and Charging Thunder.
Club, 1842-1928: with Sitting Bull in Canada, belonged
to Wakpokinyan band [Miniconjou, band of Lone Horn and
Touch the Clouds - KMB], which settled at Standing Rock
15 miles from mouth of Grand River. This band raised good
horses and cattle, farmed a little in good years.
Horn Bull: belonged to Talonapin, Fresh Meat Necklace
belonged to Kangiska, White Crow band.
HORN BULL Tatanka He Gleska (c1836-1890). Wife: Pretty
White Buffalo (Ptesan Waste win). Counted in September
1881 in Crow King's Band; from December 1881 through June
1883, listed in Bear Hat's Band; leader of his own band
by April 1884 up to his death during the arrest of Sitting
census records support Waggoner's identification of Spotted
Horn Bull as part of the Talonap'in Band. When his own
band was formed by the spring of 1884, at least one third
of the members (and probably more) were drawn from Charging
Thunder's band, also listed as Talonap'in. These two bands
are clearly linked by the various families. —
No Neck (Tahu Wanica) was among the last to come in, living
in Canada until 1884. He surrendered at Standing Rock
some time between April and September 1884. In the Standing
Rock Agency records, he is generally listed with 15 or
16 lodges in his band; one time with as many as 21 families.
Still looking at these families, but looks like they include
both Hunkpapa and Minnecoujou.
Neck appears to have died during early to mid 1885 (his
wife is listed as a widow in the 1885 census). A relative,
Iron Star, is listed in the band up to 1885; then he is
shown as the headman of Black Moon's old band. Several
of the families in No Neck's band scatter to other Hunkpapa
bands, but nearly half of them just disappear from the
Standing Rock Agency records all together (moved to Cheyenne
River Agency?) —
to Utley and several other sources some of the most prominent
Hunkpapa headman in the Canada exile were Long Dog, Little
Knife, The Crow and Iron Dog.
Little Knife is said to be one of the first of the Teton
Sioux leaders to settle across the border. —
is a source of some more names of Teton leaders at a conference
in Canada (some of them might had been at the LBH?):
WALSH, October 17, 1877.
The commission assembled at 3 o'clock p. m. in Major Walsh's
quarters. Present: General Terry, General Lawrence, Capt.
H. C. Corbin, and Mr. Jay Stone, a stenographer.
Lieutenant-Colonel McLeod, Major Walsh, and other officers
of the mounted police were also present.
The Indian chiefs were then brought is and their names
announced, as follows: Bear's Head, head chief of the
Uncapapas ; Sitting Bull, The Spotted Eagle, The Flying
Bird, The Whirlwind Bear, The Medicine-turns-around, The
Iron, Dog, The-man-that-scatters-the-Bear Little Knife,
The Crow, and Yellow Dog.
— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring
Long Dog (Sunka Hanska; born circa. 1821) and Iron Dog
(Sunka Maza; born c1813-14) are listed in Crow King's
band in the Sitting Bull Surrender Census in 1881.
apparently surrendered with Crow King, arriving at Poplar
Creek Jan. 20, 1881 and at Fort Buford on Feb. 5, 1881;
transferred to Fort Yates, arriving May 29; turned over
to Standing Rock Agency on July 21, 1881.
Dog is listed in records in Crow King's band through Dec.
1881, but I have not found a record for him after that.
Iron Dog is listed in the records in Crow King's band,
then later in High Bear's Band (Crow King's successor)
through 1887. Presumably he died in late 1887 or early
is listed in the Sitting Bull Surrender Ledger in Gall's
Band. There is no Hunkpapa named Little Knife listed,
through there is a Little Knife (born c1816) listed in
Hump's band of Minneconjou in 1881. —
did not appear in the July 1885 Annuity List for the Standing
Rock Agency. Actually, his family is there, but Crow himself
appears to have died in either late 1884 or early 1885.
His 18 year old son, Kill with Anger, is listed as chief
and most of Crow's band are shown following him: families
such as Pushing Around Holy, Lump on Leg, Spotted Weasel,
you already known from Utley (1993), Crow surrendered
with Gall. They arrived at Poplar Agency in late November
1880; were surrounded by Major Ilges in early Jan. 1881
and then forced to walk to Fort Buford where they arrived
Jan. 10, 1881. They were then loaded on steamers on May
26 and arrived at Fort Yates on May 29; then turned over
to agency officials at Standing Rock Agency on July 21,
the Sitting Bull Surrender Census, Sept. 1881, Crow is
listed in Gall's band. He is 46 years of age (born circa
1835), with his wife and three sons. Crow is listed in
Gall's band in the annuity and issue records for 1881,
1882 and early 1883. By November 1883, however, Crow's
band is listed seperate from Gall, with 22 families/78
people. Crow's band is listed through the 1884 records.
have not gone through the early 1885 issue records yet.
However, by June-July 1885, when both the agency census
and the annuity list were created, Crow was gone. His
wife and three sons are still shown, with the eldest son
(known earlier as Kola but now known as Kill with Anger)
the time of the 1886 census, Crow's band has scattered,
the families joining various other Hunkpapa bands at the
agency. This is very typical. With the death of a prominent
leader, a band often disintegrated and its members scattered
to join other relatives. We can document this process
in the Standing Rock Agency records for several bands,
including Crow's, Black Moon's, Four Horns and Long Soldier's.
do know that SB was NOT a wakan, though after he married
the Grey Eagle sisters (1871) his status within the Wakans
was accepted more by the likes of the more important Wakan
members -- Grey Eagle II (Grey Eagle I was killed attacking
the Minnesota cavalry when they ventured into the country
just east of the missouri near Bismarck, ND), Long Dog,
Iron Dog, Rain (all brothers), Bear Soldier, etc.
I can't remember right off, but there were only 3 or 4
distinct "bands." The descendents of these bands
can be found at Rock Creek (Bullhead, Wakans), Running
Antelope's camp (Little Eagle), and a different one at
Wakpala, and another one near Thunder Hawk.
There were six full-brothers, sons of the Hunkpapa Bear
Face I (Mato Ite). The latter was a signatory as a warrior
to the 1825 Hunkpapa treaty with the Atkinson-O'Fallon
Commission. He must have been born about 1800. His sons
Thunder - born about 1827, this is LaDonna's ancestor
Bear Face II - born about 1830
Iron Horn - born about 1830
Rain in the Face - born about 1836
Little Bear - born ?
Shave Head - born ?
family was a leading tiwahe within the Che-okhba or Droopy
Penis band. The band occupied the place in the Hunkpapa
camp-circle next to the Sore-Backs band, which suggests
they may have been sister bands, one budded off the other.
This is borne out by the fact that Running Antelope (born
ca. 1820) and Cross Bear (born ca. 1846), who were heads
of the leading Sore-Backs families, are both identified
as 'brothers' of Bear Face II, Iron Horn, etc. In the
case of Running Antelope, I suspect that his father and
Bear Face I were brothers - hence the Lakota relationship
Horn came to Ft Sully October 1865 to attend treaty talks
as a Hunkpapa soldier. According to his own statement
he was made a chief this same year - 1865. (Robert P.
Higheagle to Stanley Vestal stated that IH was "not
a chief at all", but conceded that he was the herald,
eyanpaha, or camp crier of the Hunkpapas.) He signed the
1868 treaty at Ft Rice and was among the first Hunkpapas
to settle at Grand River Agency - hence his role in the
1872 delegation and the Gardner portrait above. His brothers
Bear Face and Red Thunder were also agency leaders by
1876, but IH stated in 1879 that his other 'brothers',
naming Rain in the Face, Little Bear, and Cross Bear,
were in Canada with Sitting Bull's people.
back to Tokayuspe's posting in the Hunkpapa bands thread
[above], because he intimates that Long Dog and Iron Dog,
Hunkpapa headmen in Canada with Sitting Bull, were also
'brothers' to "Rain", i.e Rain in the Face.
I'm not sure how this relationship worked, but one hunch
I'm working on is that these men's mothers may have been
'sisters' and belonged to the Wakan band of Hunkpapa.
I would think that Iron Dog's and Long Dog's fathers belonged
to the Talonapin, Raw Meat Necklace band. —