Native American – Oglala Lakota Sioux of South Dakota

Native American Tribes –

Oglala Lakota Sioux of South Dakota

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Lakota Sioux

The Lakota are part of seven related Sioux tribes and speak Lakota, one of three major dialects of the Sioux language.

There are seven Lakota branches, one of which is the Oglala who occupy North and South Dakota.Authentic Native American Indian  horse carving fetish

The Lakota obtained horses in the early 1700s and used them to hunt buffalo and move their villages when weather or grazing required it.

The Lakota were compelled to sign a treaty in 1877 ceding the Black Hills to the United States but there was continued unrest which ended up with the killing of Sitting Bull in 1890 followed by the Massacre of Wounded Knee the same year at Pine Ridge.

Hand made Native American Indian Buffalo fetish carvingThe Lakota people are members of the Buffalo Nation or Tatanka Oyate so the buffalo is an important part of the Lakota creation story.

Tatanka, the Lakota word for buffalo, means “bull buffalo” or a male bison but has a greater spiritual and ceremonial significance to the Lakota. Because the buffalo provided food, clothing and shelter for the Lakota, the buffalo is treated with great respect.

The Four Directions – The Four Colors – The Four Races

The Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel represents American Indian Spirituality – the journey each individual must take to find his or her path. The Medicine Wheel is based on the four cardinal directions and the four sacred colors. A circle represents life; at the center of the circle is the eternal fire.

There are various pairings of the colors with other groups of four and it varies greatly among tribes.

The four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

The cycle of a day: Dawn, Day, Dusk, Night

Native American Indian Buckskin Medicine BagThe cycle of life: Birth, Life, Death, Afterlife

The four directions: East, South, West, North

The four races: White, Yellow, Red, Black

The four colors: White, Yellow, Red, Black

The four elements: Air, Water, Fire, Earth


Native American Symbols – Lakota Horse Stick

Lakota Horse Stick

Hand carved bone Horse Stick pendant

Oglala Lakota Horse Stick by Lonny and Michelle Cloud

The horse stick is a Lakota Sioux tradition used to honor a specific horse. Carved from bone and painted, the horses were then adorned with feathers, horse hair, animal claws and other items.

The horse stick pendant (above) made from bone was hand carved and painted by Lonny and Michelle Cloud.