Born: c. 1831, Grand River, South Dakota
Died: December 15, 1890 (age 59?), Standing Rock Indian
Bull (Lakota: Tanka I-Yotank, also nicknamed Slon-he
or "Slow") was a Hunkpapa
Lakota Sioux holy man, born near the Grand River in South Dakota and
killed by reservation police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation
during an attempt to arrest him and prevent him from supporting the
Ghost Dance movement.
What do you know about Sitting Bull?
Try this US
Old West History Made Easy Quiz.
"Check Your Answers" at the end of
1. At about the age of 14, Sitting Bull participated in a war party
that met a party of warriors. He overtook one of the warriors during
their retreat, and knocked him off his horse. For this, Sitting Bull
earned a white eagle feather, symbol of a first coup, and also received
the name of his father. Who were the warring party?
2. Sitting Bull became a Sioux holy man, or wiča-a
wakaŋ, during his early twenties. His responsibilities as a
holy man included understanding the complex religious rituals and
beliefs of the Sioux, and also learning about natural phenomena that
were related to the Sioux beliefs. He also knew techniques of healing
and carried medicinal herbs, though he was not a medicine man.
3. At the Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake on July 26, 1863 and at the
Battle of Stony Lake on July 28, 1863, Sitting Bull likely participated
in both of these battles. Who commanded the army units against the
- Gen. George Custer
- Col. Henry Sibley
- Lt. Col. George Crook
4. On September 2, 1864, Sitting Bull and the Hunkpapas attacked a
wagon train of emigrants led by Capt. James L. Fisk that was traveling
through Sioux lands. Sitting Bull again was wounded. Where was he
- Hip and back
- Right leg
5. Chief Gall of the Hunkpapas (among other representatives of the
Hunkpapas, Blackfeet, and Yankton Sioux) signed a form of the Treaty of
Fort Laramie on July 2, 1868 at Fort Rice (near Bismarck, North Dakota).
However, Sitting Bull did not agree to the treaty and continued his
hit-and-run attacks on forts in the upper Missouri area throughout the
late 1860s and early 1870s.
6. What was discovered in the Black Hills that opened Sioux land to
settlers against the previous peace treaty?
7. After defeating Custer at the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull refused
to surrender. In May 1877 led his band into hiding. Where did the remain
for years ?
- Saskatchewan, Canada
- Sonora, Mexico
- Barrow, Alaska
8. Hunger and cold eventually forced Sitting Bull, his family, and
nearly 200 other Sioux in his band to return to the United States and
surrender on July 19, 1881. Where were his people kept until 1883?
- Fort Randall
- Fort Sedgwick
- Fort Grant
9. In 1885, Sitting Bull was allowed to leave the reservation. What
was the reason?
- Join Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show
- Film Custer and the Little Bighorn
- Play Sitting Bull on stage in New York
10. Sitting Bull returned to the Standing Rock Agency in South
Dakota. Because of fears that he would support the Ghost Dance movement,
Indian Affairs authorities ordered him arrested. During a struggle
between Sitting Bull's followers and the police on December 15, 1890,
Sitting Bull was shot in the side and head by police after they were
fired upon by his supporters.
11. His body was taken to Fort Yates for burial, but it is believed
that in 1953, his remains were exhumed and reburied. Where is Sitting
Bull believed to be buried?
- Museum of the Upper Missouri, Fort Benton, Montana
- Buried in Undisclosed Place Near Manderson, South Dakota
- Sitting Bull Monument, Mobridge, South Dakota