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Sitting Bull and The Sioux Nation

             Many Indian nations engaged in both defensive and aggressive acts of war against other hostile tribes and the white intruders. The Sioux nation was known for its great warriors and leaders. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were two Siouan leaders who defined the Sioux as a tribe. However, Sitting Bull was a chief and holy man under whom the Sioux united in their struggle for survival on the northern plains of present-day Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming. .
             Sitting Bull was born around 1831 in a Hunkpapa Village, which was located in the Grand River region of present-day South Dakota. The place of his birth was called "Many Caches" for the number of food storage pits the Sioux had dug there. Before being given the name Sitting Bull, his parents gave him the nickname Hunkesi, which means slow. His parents found Hunkesi fitting because there was nothing remarkable about their son, except that he never hurried and did everything with care. However, young Hunkesi was very anxious to prove himself to his tribe and the entire Sioux nation. .
             At age fourteen, he participated in his first battle, which happened to be a raid of the Crow nation. It was in this battle with the Crow that Hunkesi earned his true name. "While the rest of the Sioux war party awaited the enemy to approach, Hunkesi quickly charged towards the enemy on his pony. [It was then that he started "counting coup," which means touching the enemy without their knowing.] The [rest of the party] changed strategy and followed his lead. The [Crow] warriors were so shocked at the boldness of the attack that they retreated" (6). Chief Jumping Bull, Hunkesi's father, was so proud of his son that he gave his son a new name. At "Many Caches," Hunkesi's was given the new name Tatanka-Iyotanka, which describes a buffalo bull sitting intractably on its haunches. The Sioux thought of the buffalo as a headstrong, stubborn creature.

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