Facts about the Sioux Native Indian
This article contains fast, fun facts and
interesting information about the Sioux Native
American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions
did the Sioux tribe live, what clothes did they wear, what
did they eat and who were the names of their most
famous leaders? Discover what happened to the
Sioux tribe with facts about their wars and
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Sioux
The Sioux tribe were famous for their hunting
and warrior culture. Warfare was a central part
of the Plains Indian culture which led to
inter-tribal conflicts and violent clashes with
the white settlers and the US army. Siouan men
were noyed for their great courage and physical
strength. They were a nomadic tribe who roamed
the Great Plains hunting the buffalo (bison).
The buffalo provided the tribe with everything
they needed - food, clothes and their tepees.
The Siouan men wore face paint for religious
ceremonies and, more famously war paint in times
War Paint was used to make Sioux warriors look
ferocious and the designs and colors that were
used were believed to hold magical powers of
protection. The name Sioux derives from the
Siouan word 'Nadowessi' meaning "Little Snakes".
Nation History - The Lakota, Dakota and Nakota
The Sioux nation ((Hocak Saha)) were the largest
of all the Native Indian tribes and consisted of
three divisions which were based on their
location, dialect and their subculture. The
Sioux tribe originally lived as Woodland Indians
along the upper Mississippi in Minnesota, Iowa,
and Wisconsin. The were forced west by the
French and their Chippewa allies. During the
migration west to the Great Plains the tribe
split into three divisions - the Lakota, Dakota
and Nakota. The names Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota
all mean "Allies" or "Confederates."
The Lakota Sioux, noted for their warrior
culture, were from the west and consisted of
seven bands including the Oglala, Hunkpapa,
Sicangu, Miniconjous, Sihasapa, Oohenumpa
and the Itazipacola. The Lakota were also
known as the Tetonwan/Teton, the 'Dwellers
on the Plains'. The Lakota were the major
opponents of the US Army during the Sioux
The Dakota Sioux, also known as the
Isanti/Santee, were from the east and
consisted of four bands called the Sisseton,
Wahpekute, Mdeakantonwon and the Wahpeton.
Named the 'Knife Makers'
The Nakota Sioux, also known as the
Ihanktown, were the smallest division
located in the east and consisted of three
bands called the Yankton, the Upper Yankton
and the Lower Yankton. Named the 'Keepers of
the Sacred Pipestone'
Where did the Sioux tribe live?
The Sioux are people of the Great Plains Native
American cultural group. The location of their
tribal homelands are shown on the map. The
geography of the region in which they lived
dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Sioux
The American Great Plains region mainly extended across states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota
Tribal Territories: North Dakota and South
Land: Grass covered prairies with streams and rivers
Climate: Hot summers and cold winters
Animals: The animals included the
Bison (Buffalo), deer, cougars, elk, bear,
beaver, porcupine, antelope, prairie dogs,
eagles and wolves
What did the Sioux tribe live in?
The Sioux tribe lived in tent-like homes called
Tepee was constructed from wooden
poles that were covered with durable animal
skins such as buffalo hides. It was pyramid
shaped, with flaps and openings, rounded at the
base and tapering to an open smoke hole at the
top. Tepees had few furnishings. Buffalo hides
were used for seating, bedding, and covers. A
hearth was built in the center of the tepee for
cooking and heating. Most tepees were
approximately 12 to 16 feet in diameter at the
base. This type shelter suited the nomadic
lifestyle of the Sioux tribe. A tepee was quick
to erect and easy to dismantle. A Siouan
village could be ready to move within an hour.
What language did the Sioux tribe speak?
The Sioux tribe spoke in the Siouan language.
What food did the Sioux tribe eat?
The food that the Sioux tribe ate included
the meat from all the animals that were
available to hunt: Buffalo, deer, elk, bear and
wild turkey. These were supplemented with roots
and wild vegetables such as spinach, prairie
turnips and potatoes and flavored with wild
herbs. Wild berries and fruits were also added
to the food available to the Sioux. When animals
for food was scarce the tribe ate dried buffalo
What weapons did the Sioux use?
The weapons used by the Sioux tribe included bows and arrows, stone ball
clubs, jaw bone clubs, hatchet axe, spears,
knives. War Shields were used on horseback as a
means of defence. The rifle was added to their weapons with the
advent of the white invaders.
women of the Sioux tribe were responsible for
making the articles of clothing worn by the
people. Most items were sewn from soft, tanned
skins of deer (buckskin) and buffalo. A cape
like yoke was formed from two pieces hung over
the shoulders that fell loosely over the arms,
taking the place of sleeves. Clothing
was often decorated with paint, porcupine quills
or beadwork. Sioux clothing for both men and
women were adorned with with beads in geometric
designs and ornaments, especially
necklaces and armbands.
What clothes did the Sioux men wear?
Many of the clothes worn by the men of the Sioux
tribe are illustrated in the pictures on this
site. The clothes worn by the Sioux men
consisted of breechcloths, fringed buckskin
tunics or shirts and leggings. Warm buffalo
robes or cloaks were also worn to protect
against the rain and the cold. The adult Sioux
men also wore beaded, feathered war bonnets
decorated with eagle feathers, ermine fur and
beadwork as a symbol of honor and
accomplishment. The Sioux wore a trailing bonnet
with feathers trailing to the floor.
What clothes did the Sioux women wear?
type of clothes worn by the women of the Sioux
tribe were knee-length dresses and leggings. The
covered the legs up to the knee and were held
with garters. The
women also wore the buffalo robes to keep warm
and dry. The dresses of the Sioux women that
were used for special occasions were elaborately
decorated with beads and painted with signs and
symbols that reflected their tribal identity and
family values celebrating acts of valor by their
men or sacrifices made for the well being of the
family and tribe. Sioux women wore their hair in
two, thick braids decorated with beads.
What was the religion and beliefs of the
religion and beliefs of the Sioux tribe was based
that encompassed the spiritual or
religious idea that the universe and all
natural objects animals, plants, trees,
rivers, mountains rocks etc have souls or
spirits. In Lakota Sioux mythology, Chapa
is the beaver spirit and symbolizes
domesticity, labor and preparation. The Great Plains tribes such as
the Sioux believed in Manitou, the
What were the rituals and ceremonies of the
rituals and ceremonies of the Sioux tribe and
many other Great Plains Native Indians, included
the Sweat Lodge ceremony, the Vision Quest and
the Sun Dance Ceremony. The sacred, ceremonial
pipe (called a Calumet), was ritually filled
with tobacco was passed among participants at
all sacred ceremonies of the Sioux. The Calumet, was often used to seal a
peace treaty, hence the term 'Peace Pipe', but
it was also used to
offer prayers in religious ceremonies and in war
The Sioux name for the Great Spirit is 'Wakan
Tanka' which translates as the Great Mystery.The Sioux
that every object was spirit, or "wakan."