What Are Some Characteristics of Lakota or Sioux Culture?

The Sioux tribe of Native Americans, also known as the Lakota tribe, were skilled farmers and hunters, but in later years, the tribe gave up farming and migrated with the buffalo herds. The Lakota are best known for their buffalo hide paintings, porcupine quillwork and beadwork.

The Lakota people controlled much of the north, including present-day Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of Canada; however, they migrated over larger distances in pursuit of buffalo. When the Europeans began settling North America in the 1700s, the Lakota people started riding horses and soon became expert riders. It was at this point the Lakota nation gave up a majority of its farming practices and became reliant on the buffalo herds for sustenance.

Warriors, war chiefs and other important military members were famous for their elaborate feathered war bonnets. The Lakota people only cut their long black hair when they were in mourning.

Rarely did this mobile tribe fight for land or power, instead fighting for pride or bragging rights. Many battles consisted of touching an opponent, similar to touch football, or stealing opponents' weapons. This helped keep death tolls to a minimum until the Europeans began settling in the area.