Afraid of Eagle Wanbli
Kokipapi (c. 1828-c. 1903). Hunkpapa: Broken Bear Rib's
band (but with Kill Eagle’s camp at Little Bighorn). Also
translated as Eagle Feared.
Interview with Captain R. E. Johnston, Sept.
18, 1876, in Lieut. Col. W. P. Carlin to Major G. D. Ruggles,
dated Standing Rock Agency, Sept. __, 1876, Letters Received,
Department of Dakota, RG 393, National Archives. Published
in New York Herald, Sept. 24, 1876; reprinted
in W. A. Graham, The Custer Myth: A Source Book of
Custeriana (New York, NY: Bonanza Books, 1953), p.
56; Edward A. Milligan, High Noon on the Greasy Grass:
The Story of the Little Bighorn by Indians Who Were There
(Bottineau, ND: Bottineau Courant Print, 1972) p. 18.
of the prominent Hunkpapa headman Broken Bear Rib
and a member of his band, Afraid of Eagle was among twenty-six
lodges that departed the Standing Rock Agency with Kill
Eagle in April 1876 to go on a buffalo hunt.
They spent the summer with the northern bands and were present
at the Little Bighorn. The lodges with Kill Eagle returned
to the agency that fall, surrendering their horses and firearms
on September 15, 1876. When questioned by military officials,
Afraid of Eagle avoided giving any details about the Little
Bighorn. “I was with Kill Eagle,” he replied, “and what
he tells you is just what I would tell you.”(1)
early October 1876, over 100 Indians left the agency to
return to the hostile camp, probably to avoid losing their
horses and weapons to the army.(2) The fact that Afraid
of Eagle’s name does not appear in the Standing Rock Agency
issue record that December suggests that he was part of
this exodus that fled north to join Sitting
Bull in Canada. Afraid of Eagle apparently
returned to the U. S. with Rain-in-the-Face’s
band who surrendered at Fort Keogh in October 1880. After
five months near that military post, the former “hostiles”
were transported by steamboat to Fort Yates and then transferred
the following month to the adjacent Standing Rock Agency.
In the Sitting Bull Surrender Census for September 1881,
Afraid of Eagle is listed in Rain in the Face’s band together
with his wife, Bad Tempered, and their
two children, Two Horse and Pretty
Pipe, as well as two grandchildren.(3)
after arriving at the Standing Rock Agency, Afraid of Eagle
and his family left Rain-in-the-Face’s band. Rather than
returning to his brother's camp, however, he joined High
Eagle, another of the agency bands. He lived the remainder
of his life at Standing Rock. His name disappears from the
agency census records in 1903, suggesting that he died in
late 1902 or early 1903.(4)
1. Afraid of Eagle interview.
Capt. R. E. Johnston to Smith, Nov. 9, 1876, Fort Yates,
Letters Received, National Archives. Edward A. Milligan,
Dakota Twilight: The Standing Rock Sioux, 1874-1890 (Hicksville,
NY: Exposition Press, 1976) p. 80.
Sitting Bull Surrender Census, p. 181, National Archives
Regional Branch, Kansas City (NA-KC).
Issue Lists, Standing Rock Agency, 1881, NA-KC. Standing
Rock Agency census records, 1885:52; 1886:277; 1887:253;
1888:243; 1889:200; 1890:230; 1891:219; 1894:2560.
Ephriam D. Dickson III