Touch the Clouds, by James H. Hamilton, taken at the Spotted Tail Agency, Nebraska, in the fall of 1877, Miniconjou chief

The Miniconjou (Lakota: Mnikȟówožu, Hokwoju - ‘Plants by the Water’) are a Native American people constituting a subdivision of the Lakota people, who formerly inhabited an area in western present-day South Dakota from the Black Hills in to the Platte River. The contemporary population lives mostly in west-central South Dakota. Perhaps the most famous Miniconjou chief was Touch the Clouds.

Historic Miniconjou thiyóšpaye or bands

Together with the Sans Arc (Itázipčho, Itazipcola, Hazipco - ‘Those who hunt without bows’) and Two Kettles (Oóhe Núŋpa, Oóhenuŋpa, Oohenonpa - ‘Two Boiling’ or ‘Two Kettles’) they were often referred to as Central Lakota and divided into several bands or thiyóšpaye:

The Oóhenuŋpa or Two Kettles were first part of the Miniconjou thiyóšpaye called Wanhin Wega, split off about 1840 and became a separate oyate or tribe.

Miniconjou leaders

Joseph White Bull (Ptesan Hunka) explained that prior to being confined to the reservation in the late 19th century, the Miniconjou recognized six hereditary leaders within their tribe, who were chosen from each clan. These men were:

These men became renowned war chiefs among the Miniconjou, rising through the ranks of the men's warrior societies. "They were treated as chiefs because of this," White Bull explained. "They wore shirts decorated with scalps." He identified these two leaders as:

Other war leaders were:

White Bull added: "The old time Minconjou tribe had good leaders, men of high repute. Now they are all dead and their children have taken their places." He listed the next generation as:

Other noted Miniconjou:

See also


  1. Doyle, Susan Badger. "Indian Perspectives on the Bozeman Trail" Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Winter, 1990) p. 66

External links

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