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Chapter 3: The Dakota
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Chapter 3: The Dakota

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  1. Chapter 3: The Dakota

  2. Names for the Dakota • Also called ‘Sioux’ • Ojibwe word meaning ‘adder’ or ‘snake’ • Dakota—friend or ally • Related to Lakota and Nakota tribes

  3. Language and Dialect • Until 1700s the seven council fires or bands of Great Sioux Nation were in contact • Shared traditions and language • As Ojibwe came in, they moved • Result: 3 dialects (Dakota, Nakota, Lakota) • Kept moving when settlers came • No written language until 1830 • Many different sounds and phonetics than English

  4. Woodlands and Plains People • MN has 2 culture areas (geographic region in which peoples share certain traits) • Woodlands (NE, Central) & Plains (SW) • Woodlands: move w/ season • After horses, were able to adapt to plains • Rely on bison

  5. Food Sources • East: hunting and fishing • Fish, deer, fish, ducks, geese, elk, etc. • Lots of land—fought off • Plants: wild rice, roots, berries, nuts • Farming—Dakota women

  6. Dwellings • Tipis in winter • Cone shape-warm • Dew cloth • Wood poles & animal hides • Pad w/ grasses or skins • Bark houses in summer

  7. Dakota Education • Viewed education differently (observation & adaptation) • Taught children through example—independent and self-reliant • taught them to be naturalists, hunters, and gatherers • Taught to be good listeners (stories & questions) • Children spoken kindly to • Named after great ancestors or tribal members

  8. Kinship • One must obey kinship rules; one must be a good relative. No • Dakota who has participated in that life will dispute that . . . Without that aim and the constant struggle to attain it, the people would no longer be Dakotas in truth. They would no longer even be human. To be a good Dakota, then, was to be humanized, civilized. And to be civilized was to keep the rules imposed by kinship for achieving civility, good manners, and a sense of responsibility toward every individual dealt with • Tiyospaye—extended family

  9. Chapter 3: The Dakota

  10. Introduction • Dakota have lived in MN longest • Minnesota comes from a Dakota word: MniSotaMakoce • How can we understand people that lived so long ago? • Listen to their stories • History kept alive through oral history • Oral history used to connect Dakota to each other and the past • Storytellers (living books)—make stories come alive • Must remain quiet until story is over

  11. Names for the Dakota • “Sioux” comes from the Ojibwe (adder or snake) • Nadouessioux • “Dakota” means ally or friend in Dakota language • Great Sioux Nation or Dakota Oyate used to include all subgroups of Dakota

  12. Oral Histories Recorded • Dakota mainly use spoken word • Ohiyesa—Dakota descent; at 15 went to live with Euro Americans • Wrote 10 books about Dakota • Have several oral traditions in them

  13. The Badger & The Bear • Badgers are very generous—invite him in and feed him—when the bear comes to their house for dinner over weeks • One day, bear shows up with his family and kicks the badgers out • Badgers leave without fight • Father returns for food, but bear refuses • Avenger learns about the bear—starts going to tipi • Bear family runs away; badger family moves back in

  14. The Badger & The Bear • LESSON: Generosity/ohanwaste • Dakota would give out food, hold nothing for selves; 1 starves, they all starve • LESSON: kinship • Treat neighbors like family • Honorship—giving gifts in someone else’s name • To give is better than to receive • Never expected anything back

  15. Human capital in early dakota culture • Income: money or other benefits received in payment for goods or services • Use for food, clothes, shelter • More money=improve knowledge and skills • Human capital: the knowledge and skills individuals have that enhance their ability to earn income • Practicing their skills • Receiving education and training • Staying healthy and being productive • Connecting with people who can help • Dakota got what they needed by gathering, making, or trading not money • Dakota human capital: hunting skills, generosity

  16. The Ghost Wife • Young man who liked to be away from the village • Sees a young woman—falls in love with her • Remembers she died 10 days ago • Become husband and wife—he wants to move to village • She agrees if he will never raise his voice in the tipi • Move to village, have 2 children • After a long day, husband comes home and yells • His family disappeared from him

  17. The Ghost Wife • LESSON: respect/woohoda • Speaking softly, move carefully in the home, no watching someone sleep • Children: eyes lowered, kinship terms (my uncle Swift Cloud) • Even use kinship terms to people they weren’t related to—treat strangers like relatives

  18. The Circle of History • Dakota view history as a circle—things keep coming back • Heal wounds so they don’t come back • Past, present, and future all affect each other • If things from the past aren’t resolved, they affect the future

  19. The Dakota Nation • Dakota lived from St. Croix River to Rocky Mountains • Seven Council Fires of the Dakota—each group named for where they lived • Spoke 1 of the 3 dialects • All Dakota groups were part of one large nation called the Dakota Oyate • Dakota today live in: MN, ND, SD, NE, Canada