The Lakota Creation Story explains that this is not the first world that the creator made, the first was destroyed because people were not being just. The new world had only water. The crow asked for land, and, after trial and error, the turtle got dirt from the ocean and made a continent. The Lakota had sweat lodges, a place where people go and pour water on hot rocks to create steam which is the breath of the creator and cleanses the people there. The god is the white buffalo calf woman, who has the power to incinerate people and reduce them to bones if they disrespect her. She taught the Lakota to play the pipe. The Lakota also had sun dances, where they would dance and pierce themselves and harm themselves as a sacrifice to the gods. The Lakota also have a vision quest. This is a tradition familiar to many Native American tribes where a child, usually a male, goes on alone into the woods until a vision comes to him. This is usually a coming of age ceremony.
The world was created by a turtle traveling to the bottom of the water to get dirt and bring it to the top. On the land, the creator took a rib to make a man. The creator then took one of his ribs and made woman. He then gave them buffalo. Cheyenne have many gods, with 2 being the most important; the “Wise One Above and a god who lives in the earth” (www.philtar.ac.uk). 2 important ceremonies are the sun dance, where one would stare at the sun while dancing, and the other being the Renewal of the Sacred Arrows. It demotes women while ‘giving the men power’. The latter ceremony lasts for four days. Religious ceremonies are lead by priests. To become a priest, a current priest needs to train you.
The Cheyenne do not value war. They only will have war when necessary, like during a drought or other times when resources are scarce.
Like most plain tribes, the Cheyenne ruled in bands. Bands were groups of people that worked lived and traveled together. Bands were ruled by leaders who had to prove themselves through wisdom, bravery, and success. There were 4 men from each band chosen by the band to serve a 10 year term. These men were the chiefs on the council. The Cheyenne were the most politically hierarchical plains group whose 10 bands sent representatives to a council of 44 peace chiefs. The council of the 44 peace chiefs was responsible for the overall leading of the nation and made many decisions involving warfare and ceremonies.
The Sioux utilized buffalo in every way possible, from the meat to the hide to the bones. They even used the abundant animal to make their tipi homes. Utilizing the land, they would kill the buffalo by chasing them over a cliff. A tribe member would dress as a buffalo and lead the rest to the cliff while the entire tribe chased them over. They didn’t farm, but instead traded and foraged.
The Sioux value war, and are very based around war. Even so, they value trading. The women use porcupine quills and trade with other tribes. The Sioux and other tribes joined over hunting rights to their territories and did not know about the idea of a “private property”. In 1849, the United States negotiated with the Treaty of Fort Laramie which divided the tribes in the Great Plains, allowing the Santee Sioux to give up most of the land in for money. This created tension and war between the US troops and the Sioux. The Sioux went into war with outsiders in order to keep their land and to maintain their culture.
The Cheyenne adapted to the rivers by using that dirt was soft and easy to till for planting. They grew corn, beans, and squash, as well as sunflowers. They hunted elk and buffalo and used the bones to help with planting. The men hunted whatever was available. Tribe relations were scarce and not too dangerous. Their homes were built with common material, such as grass.
The Sioux was known to be a warrior-like tribe that involved men to collect horses and scalps in order to have status. Also, the sioux men had to oversee the buffalo hunt and were responsible to provide food and protection to the family. While women’s duty is to maintain the overall group by being skilled at porcupine quill, bead embroidery, taking care of young ones, and healing. Like men, women served in the military to help in the dangerous wars between other tribes. The most important part to a successful Sioux life was the family. Men were allowed to marry multiple women and live together especially if the women were sisters. Chiefs were well respected in the Sioux tribe, especially if it earned victory in the wars. But men and women equally play a role in the Sioux tribe. The son-in-law between mother-in-law's had to avoid contact for respect between the family. The families are large and spent many years living together until the were set up to marry. Marriages were set up by the couple’s families but the interactions among themselves was known as avoidance behavior meaning the father-in-law should avoid contact with wife.
The Native Americans of the Plains had many sources of profit. Agriculture, specifically potatoes, were harvested by the Sioux-Lakota. Also, materials mentioned above such as horses, corn and a year's worth of salary in the form of more goods were sometimes traded for knowledge, or spiritual guidance by the Plains Indians.
The Cheyenne was an over generous tribe. Women’s role was to take care of the children, cooking, provide shelter and maintain the family. Men’s role was to hunt for food in order to provide for the family. Aunts and uncles were responsible to discipline their nephews and to become mentors. The Plains collaborates in large groups called band and they each worked separately. The bands depended on military leaders that had talent and skills such as hunting, creates meetings, and demonstrates leadership skills. Also, the family relations was helpful to the plains. Children born into the lineage and their kin required specific duties depending on the gender. For boys, teaching hinting skills and girls about agriculture was the main goal. The non relatives served as mentors. The trace of descendants known as the matrimonial clan system in which a daughter of female ancestor earned respect from the father’s family. To follow the lineage, the boy had to live with his father in order to learn about the men roles and the daughter stays home with her mother.
Many of the Plains Native Americans participated in trading anywhere from blankets to Horses, which was overseen and or regulated by the Cheyenne, allowing trade to occur between those from the the Southern Plains to the Northern Plains. The Native Americans of the Plains had many sources of profit off of items such as shoes produced by the Cheyenne Women. Agriculture, specifically wheat were harvested by the Cheyenne.
The seven Council Fires is a confederation of closely allied cognate bands split up into Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota. The great Sioux nation has seven primary divisions based on their place in the Seven Council Fires for each of the seven tribes. Each village had a village council and selected a chief who served for life. Being the chief was an honorary title but did not mean complete power. The Sioux traditionally ruled by a unanimous vote of a council of chiefs from a variety of bands