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North America

Sioux

Young Sioux men had to prove themselves in combat.Young Sioux men had to prove themselves in combat. Two hundred years ago, the Sioux (pronounced “soo”) people roamed the northern Great Plains of North America. They lived in tribes and hunted buffalo for food and skins. When the herds of buffalo moved on, the Sioux followed them across the Plains. Most Sioux warriors were taught fighting skills from a young age. They were also expected to become clever hunters. Above all, a Sioux warrior had to be brave. Today there are many different tribes within the Great Sioux Nation. The tribes speak one of three language groups: Eastern Dakota, Western Dakota and Lakota.


A Sioux chief ready for battle A Sioux chief ready for battle

Sioux warrior

A Sioux warrior’s weapons included a war club (a pointed stone attached to a stick), a spear, or a bow with arrows. His only means of defence was a small shield made of buffalo hide. The Sioux believed in other forms of protection. War paint was thought to be a gift from spirits that would protect the warrior. It was made from roots, berries, bark and moss. A warrior often wore red war paint to symbolize blood and strength. 

Lacrosse was a very popular sport among the Sioux peoples. They played it with wooden sticks and deerskin balls stuffed with hair. Hundreds of players could take part in a match.

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