The Sioux people regarded religion as an important part of their lives. They believed there existed a spirit in everything. They believed that there are underwater spirits that control all animals and plants. They also believed that in the sky, there lived powerful spirits known as the Thunderbirds. These were the most powerful spirits after the Great Spirit – the Sioux God.
They also believed in the spirit of The White Buffalo Woman, that gave each tribe a sacred pipe. They called these pipes Medicine Pipes. When these pipes were lit, the smokers are able to get a vision. These visions were powerful things that enabled these spirits to talk via dreams and visions.
The Sioux people held religious ceremonies all through the year. They only existed a single medicine man in each tribe. This medicine man performed the various ceremonies. Each ceremony only honored one spirit at one time.
The Sioux were the alliance of the North American Indian tribe that spoke in three languages within the Siouan language family. The term Sioux is derived from ‘Nadouessioux’ that means enemies. This name was given to them by the Ojibwa. The Santee are the eastern Sioux people that spoke Dakota. The Yankton people spoke Nakota. The Teton or the Western Sioux people spoke Lakota. Each of these languages had various sub divisions.
The Sioux Way Of Life
The Santee Sioux lived in the 17th century, in the area around Lake Superior. They gathered wild rice here and hunted deer and buffalo for food. They also speared fish from canoes. After continuous warfare from the Ojibwa tribe, they were forced to go to the southern and western Minnesota. Horses became a common thing to be found on the plains during this period and the Teton and the Yankton people abandoned their agriculture in favour of nomadic hunting of bison. These people shared many cultural characteristics with the nomadic Indian societies.
They lived in tepees, wore clothes made from suede, leather, or fur and traded buffalo products for maize produced by the other farming tribes. These people also raided those tribes frequently, especially the Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa and the Pawnee. As a result of this, these tribes soon formed alliances with the U.S. military.
Precontact Sioux Culture
As per the Sioux Indian religion, men acquired important status by performing brave deeds during war. They were measured by the horses and scalps they obtained during raid. These women were skilled at quill and bead embroidery, favouring geometric designs. They also produced many bison hides in the 19th century. The men’s military societies performed community policing, which is the most important duty in which one has to oversee a buffalo hunt. The woman’s societies focused on fertility, healing and the overall well-being of the group. The other societies focused on the dance rituals and the shamanism.
These people had some weird cultural facts and ways that are very intriguing to know.