South Dakota

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The Dakota

      The Great Sioux Nation consists of three smaller nations, the Nakota and Dakota who lived in Minnesota in the 19th century, and the Lakota who lived on the plains of South Dakota. Today all three groups are commonly known as Dakota or Sioux, a name given to them by the Chippawas meaning "enemy" or "little snakes."
The Lakota came to South Dakota in the 1700's. They had originally lived in North Carolina, and had moved West and North as European settlement infringed on their hunting grounds. The headdress on the booklet cover is Dakota.

SCN 2501-2505 booklet cover

     While the settlers saw the frontier as an opportunity for a new life, the Dakota  did not willingly relinquish their claim to the land. Several leaders of the Dakota who resisted the encroachment by the settlers have been honored on stamps. 

Mato-he hlongeca (Hollow Horn Bear)

SCN 565, 695

     Hollow Horn Bear (Mato-he hlongeca) (1850-1913) was the son of Chief Iron Shell, a Sycangu (Brulé) Lakota. He was a distinguished warrior in the Pawnee wars and in Red Cloud's War in 1856-1868. In 1873 he settled on the Rosebud Reservation in Dakota Territory. He was a respected leader who sought to combine respect for Dakota traditions with the need to adopt to the new ways of life on the reservation. He marched in the inaugural parades for Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, and Woodrow Wilson in 1913. The picture on the stamp is based on a photographic portrait by De Lancey Gill taken in 1905 for the Smithsonian Bureau of American Ethnology.
     Hollow Horn Bear is sometimes erroneously identified as the profile on the Buffalo Nickel. That is a composite image of Iron Tail, Two Moons, and Big Tree, according to the artist, James Earle Fraser.

Makhpiya-Luta (Red Cloud)

SCN 2175

     Red Cloud (Makhpiya-Luta) (1822-1909) had an Oglala mother and Brulé father. He led the Lakota in “Red Cloud’s War” in 1865-1868. Red Cloud force the United States  to give up building forts along the Bozeman Trail and to guarantee Dakota possession of western South Dakota, including the Badlands in the Fort Laramie Treaty. The picture of Red Cloud is based on a photograph by Charles M. Bell taken in 1880.

Tatanka-Iyotanka (Sitting Bull)

SCN 2183

     Sitting Bull (Tatanka-Iyotanka) (1831-1890) was a Lakota holy man of the Hunkpapa clan, and the head chief of the Lakota in 1868. He fought at the Little Bighorn in 1876, joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for a few months in 1885, and was killed by an Indian policeman in 1890 on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. The picture is based on a photograph taken in 1884 by David F. Barry. The first-day ceremony for the stamp was held at Rapid City.

Tashunca-uitco (Crazy Horse)

SCN 1855

     Crazy Horse (Tashunca-uitco) (1849-1877) was a famous warrior. He fought in Red Cloud’s war in 1865, and with Sitting Bull led the Lakota War of 1876-1877. In 1874 he attacked a surveying party sent into the Black Hills by General Custer. He surrendered to the Army in 1877 and was later killed when he left the reservation in search of medical help for his wife.
     Crazy Horse was a traditional Dakota and refused to have his picture taken. The image for the stamp was based on the model by Korczak Ziolkowski of the mountain carving in the Black Hills. Ziolkowski's picture was based on descriptions given to the sculptor by contemporaries of Crazy Horse. The first-day ceremony, January 15, 1982, was held in the Indian Museum of North America at Thunderhead Mountain, Crazy Horse, South Dakota,  the location of the carving.

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