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Crazy Horse



Part 1 ~ Part 2



This section is simply a collection of notes and observations on individuals that seem to bear out the Crazy Horse-Miniconjou connection.

Among the Heads of Lodges listing for Cheyenne River Agency, census of November 1871, is Miniconjou Lodge Head No. 53, "The Bull that is lying on the ground". This name seems equivalent to Bull Lays on Ground, rated as married to Looks At Her, Rattle Blanket Woman's sister.

No. 117 is "The Bull Head" - possibly one of Crazy Horse's uncles.

Among the signatories to the 1889 Crook Land Agreement at Cheyenne River is listed, at no. 428, "Ta tank moka gliyuska, Bull Lays Down", age 44, i.e. born ca. 1845. The form is correctly Tatanka Maka Gliyuska, Bull Lays on Earth. This name seems equivalent to Bull Lays on Ground, rated as married to Looks At Her, Rattle Blanket Woman's sister.
Signatory no. 457 is "Wambli Iytanka, Setting Eagle No. 1", age 60, i.e. born ca. 1829.
Signatory 484 is "Heyaka cepa, Fat Clown", age 45, i.e. born ca. 1844 - possibly related to Amos Clown.
Signatory no. 519 is "Moto Mrnni opta kinyan, Bear Flying over Water", age 65, i.e. born ca. 1824. This man was a Scout in Crazy Horse's Scout Co. during spring/summer 1877 (Co. E: May-June; Co. C: July onward).
Signatory no. 530 is "Heyoka, Clown", age 24 (born ca. 1865), possibly the Amos Clown who married Crazy Horse's 'sister' Julia Iron Cedar. This man was Sans Arc.
Signatory no. 561 is "Tatanka Pa, Bull Head", age 58, i.e. born ca. 1831 - possibly one of Crazy Horse's 'uncles'.
Signatory no. 575 is "Kangi glixka, Spotted Crow", age 56, i.e. born 1833 - possibly another of Crazy Horse's 'uncles'.
Signatory no. 635 is "Ska Agli, Spotted Crow or Brings White", age 33, i.e. born ca. 1856 - possibly a son or relative of Spotted Crow (no. 575).

The Rosebud Agency Census of 1887 includes, among the Northern Band, "Crazy Horses Mother", age 90, i.e. born ca. 1797. (Possibly the mother of Worm, i.e. Old man Crazy Horse?)

Also in the Northern Band is listed Young Bull Head, age 35, i.e. born ca. 1852. This is possibly the half-brother of Julia Iron Cedar, a son of Woman Breast by a different wife than Julia's mother.

On October 20, 1994, Chris Ravenshead told me (phone conversation) that: "A woman who was for a while one of [Joseph] White Bull's wives was called Esther Smoking Woman. She had no other family at Cheyenne River, and some believe that she was a sister of Crazy Horse's. In her old age (she died before Chris came out [in the late 1970's]) she lived with the Eagle Chasing family." Vestal notes that "Smoky Woman" married White Bull in 1907, but that the marriage was short-lived (Vestal, Warpath, p. 241). The Eagle Chasing family belonged originally to the Aske band. In a more recent conversation, Chris told me that Esther Smoking Woman, the "sister" of Crazy Horse, died in the 1930's at Cherry Creek, where the Eagle Chasing family were settled.

Information on Corn Man (Oglala): I am satisfied that the 'Oglala' Corn Man (floruit 1871-1910) was definitely related to the Miniconjou chief Corn/Corn Man I (floruit 1832-39), probably father-son. Consider the following census information:

  • June 1871, Corn Man listed at Fort Laramie council, next to Two Buffaloes (cf. Two Bulls below).
  • December 1871, Corn Man living at Red Cloud Agency, classified as "Ogallalla", head of four lodges, 32 people, has received 1871 annuity goods.
  • March, 1874: Red Cloud Agency Lodge tally (for ration issue) for winter 1873-74 lists Corn Man as head of five lodges, in Oyukhpe ("Oucapees") band.
  • March, 1874: Red Cloud Agency Census lists Corn Man, family total 8 people.
  • January 1, 1875: Spotted Tail Agency census lists Corn, family total 16 people.
  • November 1876, Red Cloud Agency Census: Corn listed as one of four men in lodge no. 56 of Oglala Loafer band (other men: Kills the Enemy; Day; Wolf on Hill). Please note co-occurrence of Day, who is listed near High Bear in Dec. 1872 Cheyenne River Agency farming list.
  • December 29, 1876: Cheyenne River Agency census for Miniconjous includes (p. 140) family led by High Bear: men include The Corn, and Select or Coffee (also Shows Dress, The Knife Scabbard, and Up the Creek). Of these only High Bear (2 Women, 3 Children) and Up the Creek (3 Women, 1 Child) has dependents listed. This is significant because of the co-occurrence of Coffee (cf. Spotted Tail Agency Census for May-June and December 1877).*
  • May 15, 1877: "Corn Man's Wife and daughter" listed as at Red Cloud on 4-day pass from Spotted Tail Agency, pass issued May 10 (sic)
  • May-June 1877: Spotted Tail Agency Census lists in Brule Band household consisting of three men: Corn Man, Coffee, and (as interlinear addition) Two Bull, plus these relatives: Corn Man has 4 Women, 7 Boys, 3 Girls, for a total of 16 (evidently including Two Bull); Coffee has 1 Woman, 1 Boy, for a total of 3.
  • December 1877: Spotted Tail Agency census (p. 77) lists in Brule band household consisting of Corn Man (head of family), plus 5 women, 3 Boys, 4 Girls; and Two Bull, plus 2 Women, 1 Boy, for a total of 17. (Nb Coffee is listed separately in same band, plus 1 Woman, plus man Call Relation, for a total of 3.)
  • October 26, 1878, Spotted Tail Agency Census (p. 126) lists Corn Man/Two Bull family as among Brules who have left the agency since the census of December 31, 1877; destination not recorded.
  • 1890 Pine Ridge Census: lists family of Corn Man, age 68 (born 1822), wife Iron Leg (born 1833), son Trailer, Oyetawicape (born 1864), in Melt Band, White Clay District; lists family of Two Bulls, age 48 (born 1842), in Sahiyela Wakpa Community, White Clay District.
  • 1891 Pine Ridge Census, Family 305, White Clay Dist.: lists family of Corn Man, Wahuwapa Wicasa, Male, Father of Family, Age 67, wife Iron Neck, Tahu maza, age 67, nephew Two Bulls, age 53.
  • 1891 Rosebud Census: Corn listed as family head in Brule no. 2 Band (non- progressive), age 76 (born 1815).

* Please note re Cheyenne River Agency entry: High Bear (age 49: born 1827) was a headman or naca with a tiyospaye of eight lodges in the September 1876 Census (p.50-51). Among the lodge heads was Womans Dress (age 28: born 1848 – this is not the man implicated in the plot against Crazy Horse in 1877), Knife Scabbard (born 1846), Selected the Enemy (born 1850: presumably Select=Coffee). The latter's family was 2 Women, 1 Boy, 2 Girls. At some point in the fall of 1876 most of the tiyospaye left, because the contents pages of the Census amend the lodge total to 2 lodges. As of ca. Nov. 1876 High Bear had only his own lodge present, but he is still rated as a headman "Consolidated with Swan's band", i.e. the Glaglaheca band of Miniconjous. The December tally indicates that several men of the tiyospaye (without their families) have returned, and are living in High Bear's tipi.

Cheyenne River Census of December 1876 has amendment for Coffee: " 'Coffee' left Agency Sept. 8th 1878, destination New Red Cloud Agency, D.T." Nb that during September 1878 the Oglalas departed White River Forks to go to their new approved agency site at Pine Ridge. Note also this was the month for the Giveaway when Crazy Horse's soul was released (at Rosebud – just before departure for Pine Ridge?). Coffee would have been a 'younger brother' of Crazy Horse (as mother's sister's son).

Coffee is important because a man of this name (Coffee # 2) is said to have been the son of Looks At Her II (sister of Crazy Horse).

It is worth noting that the November 1871 Lodge Roll for Cheyenne River Agency lists together:

  • Lodge 116 The high Bear
  • Lodge 117 The bull Head
  • Lodge 118 The Bear that goes out. . . .
  • Lodge 129 The one that has horns

    Please note that heirship papers establish that Bull Head (born 1831) had brothers: Bear Coming Out; and Has Horn, whose son was Charles Corn (born 1853). Has Horn was therefore probably born a little before 1830. All these names cluster on the 1871 Miniconjou roll, with High Bear again occurring with what we might call the Corn affinity. Note also that High Bear is "consolidated" with Swan's Glaglaheca band of Miniconjou in 1876, while in the January 1875 Cheyenne River Census his band (including Picked it out, i.e. = Select/Coffee) is grouped with tiyospaye linked to Makes Room (father of Joseph White Bull), i.e. the Inyanaoin band of Miniconjou.

Note that the December 6, 1872 report of Cheyenne River Agent lists CRA people who have started farming. Note no. 112 High Bear, clustered near several names also clustered in the 1871 Lodge Roll, e.g. Holy Bear (cf. The Bear that is considered medicine); Little Bull; The one that makes him walk; Crow Woman (also 1875).

The Aske Band: Miniconjou and Sicangu Connections

From my conversations with Chris Ravenshead, I synthesize the following information:
The Aske band settled at Cheyenne River near Cherry Creek, but were distinct from both Hump's and Joseph White Bull's tiyospaye, which were also settled at Cherry Creek. The name means a tuft or lock of hair, and in early reservation times signified people who did not cut their hair, i.e. were traditional, 'non-progressive' Lakotas.

The Aske were an old band among the Miniconjous, and people belonging to it included Charley Blue Arm, Iron Cane, Eagle Chasing, White Feather, and Swift Dog. The woman called Esther Smoking Woman, said by some to have been a sister or cousin of Crazy Horse, lived in her old age with the Eagle Chasing family near Cherry Creek.

The genealogy of the Builds Fire family (see Chris Ravenshead conversation Feb. 25, 1995), stretches back to ca. 1800. One of Builds Fire's sons, Charging Hawk, of the generation born ca. 1825, and his son, Beautiful Bald Eagle (born 1860) were specifically identified as Aske. This suggests that Aske was a named entity as early as ca. 1820.

Many Aske were killed at Wounded Knee, including Charley Blue Arm's brother Pretty Hawk, and White Dog. The latter was a son of Black Moon, whose family had stayed in Canada in 1881, but occasionally visited Cheyenne River, until they finally returned permanently to the reservation in 1894. This suggests that the Black Moon family may have been Aske, since White Dog was only a youth at the time of his death. It is noteworthy that Paul High Back, born 1870, seems to have been another son of Black Moon, suggesting a family connection to High Backbone.

White Magpie and Pretty Bald Eagle, two families related to each other, and to the Runs After family, live today on opposite sides of the road at Cherry Creek. I had observed to Chris that men of that name may have belonged to Roman Nose's camp of Miniconjous in the 1870's (Roman Nose, also known as They Are Afraid of His Shield; prominent Miniconjou headman, great-grandfather of Stephen Charging Eagle of Red Scaffold). Pretty Bald Eagle, alive today, was born 1918/19, says he is full-blood Miniconjou, related to Brown Thunder and White Feather (Aske band, today that family lives at Dupree). There are families called Bald Eagle today at both Rosebud and Pine Ridge, and Victor Douville noted to me that all were related in some way. Today White Magpie owns an Oglala Winter Count.

The Iron Shell (Sicangu) connection

Susan Bettelyoun stated (MSS, Nebraska State Historical Society) that the Sicangu chief Iron Shell, born in 1815/16, The Year an Earth Lodge was Built By the Sans Arcs, belonged to the Aske, Tuft of Hair band. "They were good hearted people, but quick and active, and also quick tempered. If any of the people of the other bands lost control of their tongues they were accused of belonging to the Aske band." A modern newspaper story identified Iron Shell's band as the Aske Kluwipi.

From the Hassrick information, we know that Iron Shell was the son and grandson of headmen (naca) among the Miniconjous, the father being Shot in the Heel, the grandfather Crooked Hand. It seems likely that this tiyospaye was the Aske, and that part of the group joined the Brules in the period 1805-20, including the Iron Shell family.

Victor Douville told me that the name Aske was applied generally to the Northern Lakota divisions, rather like the term Saone, that it means 'to wrap the hair' (rather than braid it), and that, like Chris's first statement, it came to mean non-progressive, anti-American Lakotas in the war period 1854-80, and, subsequently, on the reservation. Northern Brule groups like the Wazhazhas and Wablenicas were said to be Aske. Spotted Tail, as the son of a Sihasapa man, was said to originally belong to the Aske, but that he lost favour with this group as he became more pro-American.

Crazy Horse and the Aske

Synthesizing this information, I suggest that Crazy Horse's Miniconjou mother and stepmothers may have been identified with the Aske band. (Victor Douville directly confirmed this identification: Conversation of May 7, 2002.) Moreover, the last surviving stepmother died on the Rosebud Reservation, where she lived with the family of Brule relatives called Bald Eagle. Both Victor and Chris stated that this family has collateral branches among the Oglalas, Miniconjous and Brules, and Chris specifically identified the Cheyenne River Bald Eagle family with the Aske band, an identification going back to ca. 1820.

Crazy Horse's mother was related as cousin to his two stepmothers, Iron Between Horns and Kills Enemy. If we assume that Runs After Enemy was Aske, I suggest that his sister was married to Corn, and that their daughters included Iron Between Horns and Kills Enemy. Corn must have belonged to another band (Unkceyuta?), but by common Lakota practice, the daughters of a family were often identified with the mother's tiyospaye. Thus all three women could have been Aske band members. The fact that Esther Smokey Woman, related to Crazy Horse through his stepmothers, lived with the Eagle Chasing family, also identified specifically with the Aske band, confirms a connection between Crazy Horse's family and this Miniconjou tiyospaye.

Esther Smokey Woman

Esther Smokey Woman was born about 1859/60 and died during the 1930's. The most precise statement of her relationship to Crazy Horse comes from Ellen Condon In the Woods, who states that "Smokey Woman was Crazy Horse first cousin. She always talk about him[.] She had an uncle Combing, - (Charles son) Francis was his daughter - she married Joe Black Bear, live in Cherry Creek".

Esther's "uncle" (probably her mother's brother) Combing may be Leo Combing (born ca. 1848, still alive 1918), the eldest son of Woman Breast and Red Legs. As the elder brother of Julia Iron Cedar, Combing would have been a sunka, i.e. a classificatory younger brother of Crazy Horse (a cross-cousin in Euro-American terminology). This should make Esther a niece of Crazy Horse's, but the generations may be askew. Perhaps this Combing is not Leo Combing?

Note that Ellen also states that Lone Horn was Esther Smokey Woman's "father or uncle too". This is a possible key to unlock the Lone Horn relationship to Crazy Horse, but we need to clarify some of the details. Discounting the possibility that Lone Horn was Smokey Woman's biological father, he is most likely an uncle, classified by the Lakotas as leksi (mother's brother), unless he was father's brother, in which case he would be classed as a father (ate).

I assume that Esther's mother was a sister to Crazy Horse's mother or stepmothers (hence "first cousin"/classificatory sister). If Lone Horn was married to another of these 'sisters', Esther would have called him 'father'. I am tending to the belief that one of Lone Horn's wives (possibly Stands on Ground, the mother of Touch the Clouds) was a sister/parallel cousin to Rattle Blanket Woman and/or Iron between Horns and Kills Enemy.

Notes from Testimony of Leo Combing in the heirship cases of Red Leg and Julia Rushes, August 13, 1920: transcripts supplied by the Clown family, through Jack Meister, July 2001

Q. Who were the father and mother of Red Leg?
A. I have heard that her father’s name was Corn but I don’t know her mother’s name and that is all I know about them.
Q. Did she [Red Legs] have any brothers and sisters and if so, name them and tell what you can about them.
A. She had two sisters that I saw and I have heard of others but never saw them. One was called Iron Between Horns, and the other one was called Kills Enemy. These are all the names that I know. She had one brother that died before I was born, when the Indians had some sickness and he was called Bull Head, never married and never had issue. Both sisters died before allotments.
Q. Was Iron Between Horns married and if so, how many times?
A. She was married one time.
Q. Who was her husband? A. Crazy Horse.
Q. How and when were they married? A. Indian custom long ago.
Q. Is he living or dead? A. He is dead.
Q. When did he die? A. He died about 40 years ago.
Q. Did they have any children and if so, how many?
A. They had one, a boy.
Q. What was his name? A. High Horse.
Q. Is he living or dead? A. He died long ago, before allotments when a young man, killed in an Indian war, and left no issue. There is nothing left of her family at all.
Q. Was Kills Enemy married and if so, how many times?
A. She was married to the same as Iron Between Horns, Crazy Horse, by the old Indian custom, and she died first, then Crazy Horse died and last Iron Between Horns died and all of them died long before allotments.
Q. Did Kills Enemy have any children and if so, how many?
A. She had two is what I have heard but they both died before I was born and there is nothing left of her family.
—Kingsley Bray

I am not certain that I agree with the hypothesis that the Oyuhpe were at one time part of the Miniconjou. H. Scudder Mekeel's notes imply that the Oyuhpe might have been the original core group (or "head band") of the Oglala. The Kuinyan later became head band of the Oglala and were eventually displaced by the Itesica, so that by the 1870s this tiyospaye referred to itself as the "True Oglala". Everything that I have suggests that the Oyuhpe always considered themselves Oglala.

However, I do agree that there is plenty of evidence that the Oyuhpe and the Miniconjou were closely aligned together. They were neighbors, with overlapping hunting grounds and close intermarrying, particularly in the period after the other Oglala tiyospaye moved further west after the establishment of Fort Laramie. Just my opinion -- but always ready to revise with more evidence!

I also thought you might be interested in the record for Female Breast from the Sitting Bull Surrender Census, September 1881, listed in Hump's band:

A-ze Tits 63
Hu-sa-sa-la Red Legs wife 63
Ma-ca [not translated] son 22
Hante Maza win Iron Cedar 12

This family was transferred to the Cheyenne River Agency in 1882 where they appear in the 1886 census:

Breast of Female, 61
Red Legs, 61
Iron Cedar, 18

I will go through the census indexes for the other names and see what I can find. — Ephriam Dickson

The name of the father of Crazy Horse was Crazy Horse. After he transferred his name to his son, he was called as Worm. He was perhaps a Hunkpatila-Oglala.

He had at least two brothers, Little Hawk and Spotted Crow. Also was Bull Head and Ashes the uncles of Crazy Horse?

Crazy Horse mother was perhaps a Minneconjou and her name was Rattle Blanket Woman. Perhaps she connected somehow to the famous Minniconjou chief Touch-the-Clouds, but it's not sure.

Crazy Horse had an unkown sister, who married with Little Killer's brother Club Man. They had 8 children, but she and her children all died before 1901.

Crazy Horse's little brother name was Little Hawk. He died in spring or summer of 1870. Perhaps he was never married?

Crazy Horse married three times. Firstly he was with No Water's Wife, Black Buffalo Woman, but they stayed together a few days. It said that the woman later gave birth a light haired girl, who still lived in the 1900's.

When he was 26 years old, he married Red Feather's sister, Black Shawl. By her he had one girl, Kokipapi, They-Are-Afraid-of-Her, who died when about 2-3 years old. When he surrendered at Fort Robinson, he married a young french-Cheyenne girl, Nellie Laravie, but Crazy Horse don't have child by her. — Agnes

Nellie was the daughter of Joseph Larabee (Laravee, Larvie, etc.) or Joe Hunska (Long Joe) as he was known. He married twice. His first wife was a Cheyenne with whom he had four daughters, including Nellie. He later married Susan Metcalf and had five or six sons, including: Phil, Alex, Bill, Tom, Dick. While the family is listed among the Cheyenne in the 1876 census, they remained among the Oglala when the Cheyenne were shipped south to Indian Territory in 1877. They lived on Pine Ridge Reservation in later years and there were many descendents. — Ephriam Dickson

Richard Hardorff´s book "The death of Crazy Horse" gives a lot of information:

"Helen "Nellie" Laravie. Born along the South Platte about 1860 she was one of four daughters of Joseph Laravie, a french trader, and a southern Cheyenne woman. Among her mother´s people, Helen Laravie was known as Chi-Chi. In 1878 she settled among the Wajaje band of Lip near Eagle Nest Butte on Pine Ridge and was known among the Lakotas as Ista Gli Win `Brown Eyes Woman´." — Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

You're probably aware of this, but In Cash and Hoover's To Be An Indian: An Oral History, an informant at Rosebud, George Kills In Sight tells Jospeh Cash (in 1967) that CH is 'sort of' related to his grandmother on his father's side. Nothing's made explicit, except that he notes his grandfather was Big Crow, then he seems to mix up CH's surrender with his death, but adds that his grandfather referred to CH as 'brother-in-law' and handed him a six-shooter. Interestingly, Kills In Sight also talks about his uncle, Coffee (presumably the son or grandson of the man mentioned by Kingsley), who knew where CH was buried. — Grahame Wood

Maybe there are some more indications for a connection between Crazy Horse and the Miniconjou:

- Crazy Horse´s mentor High Backbone was Miniconjou

- the Miniconjou Club Man married Crazy Horse´s sister (Looks at her?)

- Club Man and his brother Little Killer were close associates of CH

- another close associate, friend and relative?, Kicking Bear, married a Miniconjou woman (Woodpecker Woman, a niece of Miniconjou chief Big Foot)

Just my thoughts as I was reading Kingsley´s postings. — Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

AMOS AND JULIA IRON CEDAR CLOWN from notes of Raymond Clown

Amos Clown, Cega/Paul Red Bird and Grows in a Day/Lucy (Mrs. Poor Buffalo) were the children of Fights the Thunder/Mi Ye Yi Lo (1828-1916) and Pazala/Thin Out/Rail/Rotation. Amos Clown was born around 1864 in Montana. He was 12 and took part in Custer's battle. His brother, Paul Red Bird, is 15 years at that time. Both have seen lots of action. They tell lots of eyewitness stories. It lasted about 30 minutes, they said.

Iron Cedar/Julia Clown was born at Powder River, Montana around 1864. Her parents are Women's Breast/Corn and Red Leg (d. 1905). She has three brothers: Chief Crazy Horse (half-brother, b. 1850); Peter Wolf and Leo Combing. Women's Breast/Corn was also the father of Iron Between Horn (f) and Bull Head (m). Julia's father died or was killed in battle in 1874 when she was 8. At age 10, she was not at the Custer battle as they moved out before the battle. Amos Clown and Julia Iron Cedar were married in 1884 by a Congregational minister.

Nine children were born to this union:
Moses Clown/Running Eagle was born in 1891. He served in World War I and was killed in Germany in 1918.
Joseph/Peter Clown (1894-1963) married Emiline Did Not Go Home and they lived north of the Moreau River, across from Amos Clown's.
Nellie/Mollie Clown (1896/7-1930) married Samuel Butcher.
James Clown (1901-1969) married Mary Red Bear and later married Anna Red Bird.
Lillie Elizabeth Clown lived from 1903 until 1917.
Her sister, Lilie Clown (1903-1942) married James Makes Trouble.
Louise Clown, born in 1905, married Henry Red Bear. They now live in Dupree.
Edward Clown, born in 1908, married Amy Talks. They raised their children west of
Iron Lightning, and now live in Dupree. Raymond Clown (1914-1981) married Sarah
Marrowbone and raised six children in Thunder Butte.
Julia and Amos Clown are buried 3 miles east of Thunder Butte Community at the
Clown Family Cemetery. She died in 1936 and Amos died in 1943. — Agnes

A couple of questions come to mind:

1. You have Julia Iron Cedar's father listed as Woman's Breast/Corn. You then say that Julia' father, presumably referring to Woman's Breast, was killed in battle in 1874.

I have never seen a reference to Woman's Breast also being known as Corn. In an interview with Leo Combing, Julia's brother, (posted above by Kingsley), you can see that Corn was the father of Red Legs, Womans Breast's wife. I think there might be confusion in Raymond's notes. Unless we are talking about two different individuals, Woman's Breast survived into the early reservation period. We have numerous census records that show he, his wife Red Legs and his daughter Julia. Woman's Breast died in 1900 (not 1874).

2. Also, I think there is confusion about the relationship of Iron Between Horn and Bull Head. According to the Leo Combing interview, they were both siblings of Red Legs, the wife -- not the children of Woman's Breast and Red Legs.

3. According to the Clown family, Julia's siblings (children of Woman's Breast and Red Legs) included:

Shell Blanket (c1848-1894)
Leo Combing (c1851-1932)
James Bear Pipe (c1854-1892)
Peter Wolf (c1858-1918)
Comes Home Last (b. c1864)
Sacred Girl, infant (b. c1868)

The children of Julia and Amos Clown that you listed are what I have also.

4. There appears to be some confusion currently among the Clown family about the precise relationship to the Crazy Horse family (as Kingsley notes above). One part of the family claims that Crazy Horse the father (or Worm) was the same person as Woman's Breast, just different names for the same individual. However, agency census records suggest this is in error. In the fall of 1881, a census was conducted at both Standing Rock and at Rosebud at about the same time. Woman's Breast appears in the 1881 Standing Rock Agency census; Crazy Horse (the father) appears in the 1881 Rosebud Agency census. They therefore cannot be the same person.

As Kingsley has noted, the Clown family are probably related to the Crazy Horse family through marriage. — Ephriam Dickson

The pipe and bundle of Ta'sunke Witco have been passed down thru the Clown family of the Mnicojou band on CRR. Waglula spent his final years (1881 - 1900) there and changed his name twice to avoid government retaliation. One of the names he used was Woman's Breast. His youngest daughter, Iron Cedar (b. 1865, her mother was Red Leggins) or Julia Iron Cedar married Amos Clown. Afraid of Her was living with them when she died in 1889. So Julia Clown was the sister of Crazy Horse. Remember that the to the Lakota, half siblings were just plain siblings -- they were all the children of Waglula. Bray follows the reservation census records of the period and doesn't consider Julia Clown as Waglula's daughter -- says her father was Woman's Breast. Therein lies the conflict.

Ephriam points out in a previous post that "In the fall of 1881, a census was conducted at both Standing Rock and at Rosebud at about the same time. Woman's Breast appears in the 1881 Standing Rock Agency census; Crazy Horse (the father) appears in the 1881 Rosebud Agency census. They therefore cannot be the same person. " The family states that was the year he moved from Rosebud to CRR and changed his name so he could have easily appeared on both census. IMHO, those census records are far from dependable. These people were in fear of their lives and hid their identity with fictitious names and constant movement. Only in recent years did the family feel safe enough to begin the work of telling their history and documenting their lineage. They want it recorded for the children. — CLW

From my own perspective, all forms of evidence used in reconstructing the past should be viewed with a critical eye. This is true whether we are talking about oral history passed down through several generations or a written census record; this includes maps and even photographs. Each of these records reflect the perspective of the individual(s) who recorded it, with all those imperfections and biases; and sometimes they reflect the misunderstandings of those who read or hear the information from within their own frame of reference. As avocational historians trying to understand the past, we have to be prepared to carefully examine every source and compare them with other data. I don't believe that having a critical eye about sources represents favoritism or racism, rather an effort to get closer to "the truth", whatever that may be.

But some issues arise that cannot be completely resolved with the available evidence. It is clear that the Clown family have an oral history regarding Woman's Breast and Worm being the same individual. I do not believe it is disrespectful to that family if we consider this new information carefully in light of what else is known. I acknowledge that their information could very well be true. But it is also possible that some part of it has become misunderstood. We should point out that the oral history of other family members, through the line of Little Hawk (Crazy Horse's uncle), disagree with the Clown family claim. In fact, this very issue is in court currently in an effort to determine the heirs of Crazy Horse's estate.

One of the writers in a message above is absolutely correct in suggesting that census records are not always accurate. I have found many inaccuracies, especially the earliest ones from the 1876-1881 period. At most, a census record represents just a snap shot and are not always easy to interpret as Lakota relationships were recorded by bureaucrats using the narrow Euro-American words and definitions. I find that census records cannot stand alone. They are most helpful when linked with other lines of evidence such as oral histories and additional documents.

When I attempt to match up the very meager census records with the oral histories told by the Little Hawk descendants and the Clown descendants about Crazy Horse's father, I think the evidence leans more towards the Little Hawk oral history. Womans Breast's family appears in the 1881 Standing Rock Agency census in Hump's band of Minnecoujou, shortly after they were transferred from Fort Keogh to Standing Rock. Unfortunately, we do not have complete lists of Hump's band while at Fort Keogh (we have a partial list from 1877), but perhaps one day such a document will turn up. Based on the fact that Womans Breast is with Hump in 1881, I suspect he came in with him in 1877 to Fort Keogh and then traveled downriver with Hump by steamboat to Standing Rock. The fact that "Crazy Horse's father" (presumably Worm) appears in the Spotted Tail/Rosebud census records in 1877-78 and in 1881 suggests to me that they are not the same individual as claimed by the Clown family.

So what might the Clown family oral history represent? The evidence suggests that Julia Clown referred to Crazy Horse as a "brother", not in the Euro-American definition of the word but within the more expansive Lakota definition of the term. I suspect that is true. What we may not understand right now is the actually genealogical relationship of Julia Clown and Crazy Horse. In the end, I wonder how important that detail is. Whether the connection to Crazy Horse is through Worm/Womans Breast being the same individual or two closely related individuals, is it not possible that the Clown family has preserved some interesting perspectives on the life of Crazy Horse? — Ephriam Dickson

1) Little Hawk 1 was Corn's brother and his son, Little Hawk 2, who was killed in 1870, was a close friend to CH. Corn was CH (step) Grandfather.
2) Hump 1 was Rattling Blanket Woman's brother, both children of Black Buffalo. Waglula was kola to his brother-in-law. And that would make the son, Hump 2 (of Standing Rock), cousin to CH. Obviously a close connection all around.

Corn was a Miniconjou chief painted by Catlin in 1832 - to judge by his appearance he may have been born in the late 1780s/early 1790s. Since writing the Crazy Horse biography I have located winter count evidence that he died in 1846 or '47. His children included such sons as Bull Head (possibly two bearing the name, the eldest dying before ca. 1850), Has Horn (and maybe some uncles of Crazy Horse that seem to fit in here: Ashes, Spotted Crow); and daughters Red Leggings Woman, Kills Enemy, and Iron Between Horns. The latter two married Oglala holy man Worm (father of Crazy Horse by his first wife Rattle Blanket Woman - also Miniconjou and related to the later wives). Red Leggings Woman married a Miniconjou called Woman Breast, and their children included Julia Iron Cedar - born 1864, who identified Crazy Horse as her brother - entirely correctly according to the Lakota kinship system. — Kingsley Bray

In 1844, when CH was four years old, Waglula was out hunting when he came across Corn's camp under attack by the Crow. Waglula and his warrior's engaged and turned the tide, but not before Corn's wife was killed. In gratitude to Waglula for saving his camp, Corn gave Waglula the daughters of his dead wife: Iron Between Horns, Kills Enemy and Red Leggins. They all returned with him. He took the first two as wives, but because Red Leggins was young, he didn't take her at that time.

Now he had been very happy with Rattling Blanket and this was an unexpected occurance but a gift impossible to refuse. Tragically, this is the sequence of events that led to Rattling Blanket's suicide. She felt replaced and unloved, became despondent and took her life.

It was several years later, when she had grown, that Waglula married Red Leggins. And that appears to be the reason for all the later confusion. — CLW

The Clown family is not a connection, it is sir in FACT, the whole. As I write this, every now and again, I cast a look at the family tree, the real one.

From my understanding, you followed the tree as it related to Waglula's demise. That was a bad mistake. Take for instance the individual named Roaming Nose. He is also known as Frog. Say anything to you? Waglula is also Woman's Breast, Breast of Woman and Kills at Night. I think one thing you failed to realize is that from the time of his death, to 2000, there was extensive DISINFORMATION purposely related. The family was in fact actively pursued into the 20th century, which included family assassination and attempted abduction and assassination. You also relied on census records, another grievous error. We were a nomadic people, fresh to a concentration camp, travel was in our bones, and families were at different agencies, and visitation was frequent, and being counted at one agency was common when you were only visiting. Did you check ration cards? Death records? Did you have the inside track by talking with the lineal family? some of these issues would have jumped out and slapped you if you had. But the fact is sir, some of our Lakota families you can not get an accurate picture with out talking to the family historian, just about every family has one, and then cross reference with other family members. Perhaps you followed a tree that one Big Crow tries to claim, he is not in fact related. His ancestor was married into the family, and due to unacceptability or incompatibility or whatever causes a divorce, it happened to his ancestor before a baby was ever conceived, notice I do not reference a birth. Therefore, at that point, there was no longer any connection what so ever to his family. Why, why do the Europeans insist on any thing dealing with Little Hawk?

Another fact, the Ogalala connection is with Jack Greasy Hand, who married the Larrabee woman after Crazy Horses demise. They used his ration card to get scarce and scanty food rations, a clever move, and the Larrabee woman was a spy. End of Ogalala connection, no relation, no ties.

Crazy Horse is Mnicoujou.
No, there is no photo of Crazy Horse.
No, no one has guessed his resting place correctly, you are welcomed to keep guessing.
No, Sandoz was not even close, as a matter of fact, she was hit with full blown disinformation.
thank you
Message from the Crazy Horse family

…let's look at their latter-day claim that he was all Miniconjou. Now, his mother and stepmothers certainly were Miniconjou - no doubt about it. My feeling from the sources is that he actually felt a lot more comfortable among his mother's people than he did at 'home' among the Oglalas. Perhaps expectations were that little bit more relaxed among the mother's folks? Uncles and cousins were a little more indulgent of the growing youth Crazy Horse, than was the case among his father's people? In the biography I set out what we know of the young Crazy Horse's stays among the Miniconjou, including extended stays in 1851-2 and 1858-9. When he was recovering from the No Water shooting in 1870, it was among the Miniconjous that he convalesced. I think that's a very significant fact, indicating his comfort among the people of his mother.

However, it's just untrue to believe that he was not an Oglala. The Northern Oglala divisional council elected him as Shirt Wearer in 1868, and as tribal war chief in 1870. According to He Dog's nephew Joseph Eagle Hawk, who acknowledges that Crazy Horse's mother was "from Cheyenne River",Crazy Horse's father Worm was "an original Oglala Sioux". Again this is a statement from a contemporary - someone who knew these people in life. Such statements could be multiplied many times. — Kingsley Bray

Two years before his 1920 interview, (Leo) Combing's younger brother (Peter) Wolf was shot in the back by masked white men in front of his wife and children. The assassins told his wife it was because he was a member of the Crazy Horse family. At the time of the 1920 interview, Combing was the keeper of CH's pipe and bundle. Hardly surprising that he insisted that Waglula and Woman's Breast were two different men and worth considering, I think. — CLW

The information following here about Crazy Horse seems to be based on the same sources than the DVD (www.reelcontact.com) is. Here is an edit:

"Crazy Horse's father, who was also named Crazy Horse (born 1810) but took the name Worm after passing the name to his son, was Lakota and his mother, Rattling Blanket Woman (born 1814), was Lakota. Rattling Blanket Woman was the daughter of Black Buffalo and White Cow (also known as Iron Cane). Black Buffalo is the one who stopped Lewis and Clark on the Bad River. She was the younger sister of One Horn (born 1794) and Lone Horn (born 1804). She also had an older sister named Good Looking Woman (born 1810) and a younger sister named Looks At It (born 1815), later given the name They Are Afraid of Her. Looks At It had a much bigger build than her two older sisters. She got her second name because she had married a man named Stands Up For Him. They had a child. When the child died of a disease, he tried to take her south away from her family. A fight ensued. She beat him up and thus the name They Are Afraid Of Her was bestowed on her. Rattling Blanket Woman also had another older half-brother named Hump who was born in 1811. Hump's mother was Good Voice Woman and Black Buffalo's second wife. Hump and Waglula became best friends. When Waglula began to court Hump's half sister, he presented three horses to the family head Lone Horn (the older sibling One Horn had died earlier after being gored by a buffalo, making Lone Horn the oldest male and head man of the family. Their father, Black Buffalo, had died in about 1820 near Devil's Tower, or as the Lakota called it Grey Horn Butte, of sickness.). In return for the three horses he hoped he could take Rattling Blanket Woman as his wife as was the custom. But the family's women wanted eight horses, and apparently they had the final say. So Hump volunteered to go on a raiding party with Waglula. They brought back 16 horses, four loaded with meat they had captured from a Crow hunting party and presented it to the family. Thus Rattling Blanket Woman and Waglula became husband and wife. Crazy Horse was born with the name 'In The Wilderness' or 'Among the Trees' (in Lakota the name is phonetically pronounced as Cha-O-Ha) meaning he was one with nature. His nickname was Curly. He had the same light curly hair of his mother. In 1844 Waglula (aka Worm) went on a buffalo hunt. He came across a Lakota village under attack by Crow warriors. He led his small contingent in to rescue the village. Corn who was the head man of the village (the famed painter, George Catlin painted his picture while visiting the tribe in 1832 entitled "Corn, Minicouju Warrior") had lost his wife in the raid. In gratitude he gave Waglula his two eldest daughters Iron Between Horns (age 18) and Kills Enemy (age 17) as wives. Corn's youngest daughter, Red Leggins, who was 15 at the time requested to go with her sisters and all would become Waglula's wives. When he got back to his village and his wife, Rattling Blanket Woman, found out about his new wives she became distraught. She and Waglula had been attempting to conceive another child, but had failed. The arrival of the new wives made her think she had lost favor with Waglula because she could not get pregnant. At the time they were camped along the White River. Without discussing it with Waglula she went out and hung herself from a cottonwood tree. Waglula mourned her death for four years and was celibate during that time. Upon hearing what had happened to her sister, Good Looking Woman, who also found she could not conceive, left her husband and came to Waglula to offer herself as a replacement wife for her sister. Waglula turned her down as a wife, but relented in allowing her to raise her sister's son, Crazy Horse. Later, Crazy Horse's other aunt They Are Afraid of Her helped in the raising of Crazy Horse. She helped teach him to hunt and take care of himself. They Are Afraid of Her was a very independent woman."

There is also information about Little Hawk I found interesting:

"Crazy Horse was in the Lakota camp with his younger brother, High Horse (son of Iron Between Horns and Waglula) and his cousin who he grew up with, Little Hawk (Little Hawk was actually the nephew of his maternal step grandfather, Corn), when it was attacked by Lt Grattan and 26 other troopers during the 'Grattan Fight'. — Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

However, as to the core question of whether Worm and Woman's Breast are in fact the same individual, I remain unconvinced. I think I have posted this before, but we have both of these individuals in the census records, and they overlap in 1881. We can show in the reservation records Worm surrendering at the Spotted Tail Agency in April 1877, transferred to the Red Cloud Agency in May 1877 and returning to Spotted Tail following the death of his son in Sept. 1877. He appears in the Rosebud Agency census taken in the fall of 1881. There is a gap in the census records between 1881 and 1886; then in the 1886 census records, "Crazy Horse's mother" (Worm's wife) as a widow.

As to Woman's Breast (who census records show was a decade younger than Worm), he appears to have surrendered at Fort Keogh during the 1880-81 period, was transferred to the Standing Rock Agency in the summer of 1881 and was counted in the Sitting Bull Surrender Census in the fall of 1881. So, at the same time Worm is being counted down at Rosebud, Woman's Breast is being counted at Standing Rock. Woman's Breast was then transferred to Cheyenne River in the spring of 1882 and he appears in the regular annual census at Cheyenne River from 1886 through his death in 1900.

In addition, we have the comments of Worm recorded in September 1877 by Lieut. Lemly, in which he states that he had three children, Crazy Horse being the last surviving one. If Crazy Horse Sr. (Worm) had other children through Red Legs as claimed by the Clown family, then why did he not mention his other children?

I think the evidence is clear that these are two seperate families. However, I agree with Kingsley that these two families are related, by marriage. — Ephriam Dickson


I talked to the family spokesman last night and read him your analysis. He told me that he is listed in the ration records first as 'Kills At Night' and then as 'Breast'. His probate lists him as 'Woman's Breast' and other relative probates list him as 'Breast of a Female'. If you wish to have an interview with the family spokesman directly leave me a message above and I'll get you his number. I know in the DVD it talks about 'Kills at Night' and 'Woman's Breast' but the DVD did not get into the detail of the ration records or the variations of the name. They also told me he's not the same one as listed on the census of Standing Rock.

You can also ask them about the Lemly statement. My personal take on that is with Sept 1877 being when Crazy Horse was killed, the paranoid mood of the time, and suddenly being asked about any additional children by a soldier, he probably was just being a good father. — Brock

The Clown family knew the actual physical description of the Grattan Fight terrain before we got there. As luck would have it Steve Fulmer's grandfather had owned and helped till the land where the battlefield was. Their description was quite surprising to the bookstore manager Pat Fullmer, Steve's mom, and she had to go get her dad (who I believe was in his 80's). We learned that the hills that the Clown family described had been mostly flattened to make more usable farmland. Only a small portion of the hill where Crazy Horse was is still there. That's where I got that shot of the field. The slough was filled in, once again, for more farmland. This happened when Steve's grandfather was young. It is not very well known or written about, especially in the detail they described it. Yet they had never physically been or seen any pictures. I have Steve on video tape talking about this, but we decided we didn't want to make this a defensive piece. So it doesn't appear in the final product. That's at Fort Laramie NPS. That's somebody that can be called.

Also at Deer Medicine Rock there is a rock with a carving of Crazy Horse's death vision that their grandfather told them about. They went to the owner of the land who's family has owned it since about 1880 named Bailey. They went by features of the land, found it and interpreted it all before Bailey's eyes. Bailey had known about this carving since he was a boy (Bailey's at least in his 70's). But he had never witnessed the good medicine they used to find it. He is a firm believer in the family because of what he saw. I'm sure he would talk to you. If you leave a message I could probably find you his number. — Brock

I do not agree with the comment regarding the 1881 Standing Rock Agency census. As you can see below, it is the same family. Woman's Breast is shown married to Red Legs and has two children with him, a son Maca (Lakota for Wolf; = Peter Wolf) and a daughter Iron Cedar, the name for Julia Clown. This precisely matches the family oral history and probate records:

A-ze Tits 63
Hu-sa-sa-la Red Legs wife 63
Ma-ca [not translated] son 22
Hante Maza win Iron Cedar 12

I agree that it is possible the Worm was unwilling to share additional information about family members to an army officer in 1877. But then how can one explain the comment by He Dog, a close friend of Crazy Horse, speaking in 1930 who said that Worm had three children, with Crazy Horse as the middle child? This matches what Worm said that night in 1877. — Ephriam Dickson


I just got off the horn with Doug...the person you'll be talking to. I misunderstood and your 1881 Standing Rock is correct except they called it the 'Northern Camps' and I understood that as Cheyenne River. I apologize for that one. He said you'll find Kills At Night at Fort Bennent, Owl River, and Forest City...and probably at Upper Platte. Also at Pine Ridge. It was a shell game to keep the agencies confused so they would not find Waglula. There also would be other Lakota named Kills At Night and they would set up the ration card. So whatever name he chose there were multiple Kills At Nights of different ages. Then maybe the one that set up the ration card at say Owl River would go to say Pine Ridge to get their rations at the same time Waglula would go in with several elders in a group to mix in at the Owl River location. They would go on the first day because the agencies would rush them through and they didn't have time to wire the other agency in time to catch multiple rations. He would state he was a visiting relative and show the ration card to say Fort Bennent one month, Owl River the next and so on so it would appear he WAS a visitor. They almost caught him as they questioned him on the Kills At Night name (someone at the agency remembered the real Kills At Night) so he changed it to Breast. Other Lakota would have the same name to create confusion and the whole process started all over again.

Oh, and on the He Dog statement, Doug said he was talking about the children that survived Waglula. But for some reason it was interpreted as just three children. As far as the Crazy Horse middle child statement Doug believes He Dog was confused after all he was quite old...or it could have been misinterpreted. Doug said He Dog was one of the people that protected Waglula up until Waglula's death. — Brock

We have to understand the surprising depth of the protection, thru disinformation, that went on behind the scenes and view the census records in that context. Even before the LBH, Waglula didn't list himself as a headman, knowing that it would lead the government to Crazy Horse. — CLW

The family spells Iron Cedar Hante-sa Maza wi. She got that name because she was born near a creek where there was lots of petrified wood...hence Iron Cedar. Red Leggins or Red Legs they spelled Hunska-sa. She got her name because when she was small she ran through some buck brush and scratched her legs up and then they were wrapped in some kind of cloth, that cloth turned red from the scratches underneath leaking through...hence Red Leggins. And Maca killed a wolf at a young age, hence Wolf or Maca. And of course Breast, or 'Tits' as the agency crudely has it, was a shared name with others primarily for the benefit of rations. — Brock


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