Chief Sitting Bull was one of the greatest leaders of our time. He led a group of Sioux warriors in one of the greatest defeats of the American army. He was one of the most looked up to Indians ever. He was a very important part of our history.
In 1831, one of the greatest Indian leaders was born in what is now called Grand River, South Dakota. The child earned the name Tatanka-Iyotanka. The name describes a bull sitting stubbornly on its haunches. Over the course of his life, he would live up to his name many times.
His boyhood must have been a good one. His family had many ponies. He liked to ride. As a joke, other kids said that his legs were bowed like the ponies that he rode. His nickname at that time was Hunkeshnee, which meant slow. He wasnâ€™t a fast runner, but he was very strong. He was said to always have wanted to play the part of the old man. But he was very active.
There are many speculations on how he got his name, some say he got it during his first raid. There is one story, however, that shows his strength. â€œAfter a hunt, some of the boys were enjoying a mimic hunt with the calves that had been left behind. A large calf turned viciously on Sitting Bull, whose pony had thrown him, but the alert youth got hold of both ears and struggled until the calf was pushed back into a buffalo wassow in a sitting posture. The boys shouted: â€œHe has subdued the buffalo calf! He made it sit down!â€ And from this incident was derived his familiar name of Sitting Bull.â€.
As a young man in the Hunkpapa Sioux tribe, he became a leader of the Strong Heart warrior society. This was the first demonstration of his superior leadership abilities. He later became a distinguished member of the Silent Eaters, a group concerned with the activity of tribal warfare.
He first went to battle at the age of 14. His first raid on the Crow was his first actual conflict.