Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Dakotas, one of the stock races of the American aborigines, called also Sioux, formerly widespread throughout the Mississippi basin (North and South Dakota are named from them, parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Indian Territory), with outlying branches in Manitoba (Assiniboins), and isolated colonies in Alabama (Biloxi), the borders of Virginia and North Carolina (Tutelo), and, according to some authorities, in both Carolinas (Catawba). Being essentially a hunting people, the Dakotas were at no time very numerous, though necessarily spread over a wide range; and they are now (1892) reduced to probably less than 45,000, of whom 20,000 are in the South Dakota reserves, 7,000 in North Dakota, the rest in Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada. The Dakotas, i.e. "Leagued" or "Allied," when first known to the whites, were constituted in a confederacy of seven nations forming the "Seven Great Council Fires," of which the more important surviving bands are the Yanktons and Yanktonais. i.e. "at the end," in reference to the remote position of their villages; Sihasapa, or Blackfeet, different from the Canadian Blackfeet, who are Algonquians; Ohenoupa, or Two Kettles; Itaziptco, the Sans Arc, or "Bowless," of the Franco-Canadians; Minnecongie, "Planters by the Water"; Sitconju, i.e. Brules, or "Burnt Hips"; Santee, properly Isanti, i.e. "Knife People," so called from the material found in their territory from which stone knives were made, included the Waltpeton, or "Forest Men," and the Sisseton, or "Prairie Marsh Men"; Ogalala (Oglala), of unknown meaning; Unkpapa, most warlike and most powerful of all the "Allied." Frequent mention is also made of a "Titon" tribe; but this appears to be merely a collective name for all the prairie bands as opposed to those of the woodlands, from a root tintan, "treeless land." Since the rupture of the league and the restriction of all the bands to the various reserves, many, and especially the Yanktons, have adapted themselves to a settled life, and even made considerable progress in agriculture. But all have suffered much from the fraudulent dealings of the Government agents, and in 1891 were reduced to such distress that they were with difficulty prevented from leaving the reserves and joining in a general revolt. Physically and mentally, the Dakotas can scarcely be distinguished from the Red Skins; but their speech, which presents some remarkable peculiarities, differs radically from all others, forming one of the most widely diffused stock languages of the American continent. The phonetic system is marked by strong aspiration, extensive nasalisation, the absence of true diphthongs and of the letters f, v, l; there is no grammatical gender, nor even any element distinctive of sex; the noun has no inflection beyond two or three locative endings; the adjective has no degrees of comparison; and the plural element pi, common both to noun, verb, and pronoun, is of extremely limited use, being entirely restricted to men, as if the number of warriors alone were worthy of notice. (See Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology for 1882-83, Washington, 1880; Gabelentz, Gram. Dakota; D. C. Poole, Among the Sioux of Dakota, etc., New York, 1881; J. C. Pilling, Bibliography of the Siouan Language, Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1887.)