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Horn Chips




Horn Chips was a medicine man at the time of Crazy Horse.

— Henri/Apsalooka

Chips Woptuh'a (c1836-1916) was at the Spotted Tail Agency during the 1876-77 period.

— Ephriam Dickson

According to his own statement to Judge Ricker, Horn Chips was part of the Spotted Tail Agency delegation to the Northern Indians in Feb.-April 1877. Led by Spotted Tail himself, plus Brule band chiefs Swift Bear, Two Strike and Iron Shell, the 250-man party secured the surrender at their agency of the Touch the Clouds village, plus several smaller parties.

Horn Chips therefore indicates that he was living at Spotted Tail Agency in 1876-77. My hunch is that he was at one or other of the agencies for much of the period 1870-onward - possibly as fallout from his disagreement with Black Twin over the Crazy Horse elopement with Black Buffalo Woman. He does not seem to have been among the Lakotas who fled to Canada in 1877-78.

— Kingsley Bray

There was a man, back in the buffalo days, whose name was Ptehe Woptuh'a. The name's implied meaning is a buffalo horn that is so old it will crumble to little pieces in your hand like a dried leaf. Most people now refer to him as Horn Chips. Born in 1836, Horn Chips was originally known as Tahunska or His Leggings. He was said to have been a member of Chief Lip's band of Wajajes, Upper Brules who joined the Oglalas around 1854.

Horn Chips family died when he was a young child and he went to live with his grandmother who raised him. Horn Chips and Crazy Horse were childhood friends and later it is said that Horn Chips was adopted by the uncle of Crazy Horse. The relationship between Horn Chips and Crazy Horse became stronger around 1862 or 1863, after Horn Chips, now a medicine person, made a war medicine for Crazy Horse. A small white stone with a hole through it, suspended from a deerhide thong, worn over his shoulder, so that it was under his left arm, which was said to protect him from bullets.

Later, it was said that a man named Black Horse dreamed of thunder and worried he would be struck by lightning. He sought out Horn Chips, considered by then to be heyoka. Horn Chips put Black Horse on the hill on Eagle Nest Butte. Then Horn Chips interpreted Black Horse's vision, saying that Black Horse would become heyoka also. Black Horse continued to learn from Horn Chips until he became a powerful healer himself.

Originally, Chief Lip's camp was east of Pass Creek on the Rosebud Reservation. It was in the vicinity of Eagle Nest Butte, an old site used for trapping eagles and a sacred site used for vision quests, and the present community of Wanblee, 5 miles north of the Butte, that Chief Lip's band settled around 1880. However, in the summer of 1890, the boundary between Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservation was moved farther east to the mouth of Black Pipe Creek, which placed Chief Lip's camp on the Pine Ridge Reservation. While Lip's band of Wajajes were technically Sicangu, they continued to live and interact with Oglalas, even insisting that they be counted on the Pine Ridge Rolls. This was the home of Horn Chips, and he helped many people through the night ceremony now referred to as yuwipi, until he died in 1916.

Old man Horn Chips had two sons, Ellis Chips and Joe Chips, a cousin named Joe Ashley, and a half brother named Sam Moves Camp, all of whom studied with Horn Chips and later became powerful yuwipi men themselves. During this next generation of yuwipi healers, others had also become prominent yuwipi healers on Pine Ridge as well, such as George Flesh, Willie Wounded, George Plenty Wolf, Mark Big Road, Frank Fools Crow and John Iron Rope, just to name a few.

Grandpa Ellis Chips and his wife Victoria had three sons, Charles, Phillip and Godfrey.

— HinTamaheca

The Chipps family are having a bad time. They had some very important bundles, including Crazy Horse's only possessions and an ''unnamed" person sold them back when Unci passed on. They are in the East, well South East I guess you would say. Not good. I know where and who they are with and we need to get them back here. They are unhappy and this is why bad things are happening to certain people.

According to most full blood, traditional elders around here, after Pete and Frank Fools Crow passed, there are no true Sundances left. None of them are done properly anymore.

— Miyelo



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