A warrior is a person experienced in or capable of engaging in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate warrior class - Sioux Warrior introduction. However, a Sioux warrior is a member of the largest tribe of the Siouan stock of North American Indians, who originally occupied Minnesota and Wisconsin and later migrated westward to the Great Plains; several Siouan groups where Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota (Dictionary. com, 2011).
In order to become a Sioux warrior is not only to be prepared for warfare, but to be prepared physically and mentally to protect their lands and surrender the enemies that they fight. What is the difference of being a Warrior and a so called Sioux Warrior? Culture, customs, tradition and religion are behind the Sioux Warriors. In the poem, “Sioux Warrior”, written by Darren M. Grine, the author expresses and writes the poem in first person, showing his knowledge of what a Sioux Warrior believed in, how the social structure is related to their thinking, and how the Sioux Warrior is embedded within the tribe.
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In order to be precise on the behavior of a Sioux Warrior, the author writes the poem in first person to reflect the lifestyle of the warrior. The order of the words that the author manages provides knowledge and assures the facts and truth of the life of Sioux. Darren says: “First born into tradition am I”, the order of these words asserts that the warrior has a path to follow. Also “ Truly am I a Sioux Warrior”, this line could confuse the reader that this is not a true statement but a interrogative statement, however, this sentence does not contain a question mark therefore it assures that the author is a real Sioux Warrior.
In his poem, Darren showed the beliefs that the Sioux practiced and those who retained all these practices through generations are recognized in the poem. The main people that taught the warriors their principles were their religion prayers and their families like line 12 shows. “Sacred thanks to Grandfather”, the Grandfather mentions in this line are not the father of the father but rather their religion’s Great Spirit or Grandfather. It consists of beliefs that everything has its own spirit and that it could embody itself in distinctive ways.
To live in harmony with all beings is the intended purpose in everyday life. Prayers to the Great Spirit or Grandfather were and are said on a daily basis. Also “Mother Earth shares her abundance”; Mother Earth and her abundance were and still well respected and considered sacred. All living things have important roles in their daily life and ceremonies. The buffalo is very significant in their culture as well as other creatures. The Sioux culture believes that in the spiritual and physical world, animals are one that is with the tribe for life.
The buffalo represents characteristics and important meanings in the culture. For instance “Our symbol of life is the Buffalo”, the reason that the buffalo is so important for the Sioux tribe was because for centuries, the tribe followed the herds of the buffalo which provided them all the necessities of food and shelter which were vital to their survival. Therefore, prayers of gratitude and forgiveness were said before and after the warriors hunt for the Grandfather (Grine, 2011). That is why the buffalo was and still is regarded as the symbol of life.
The lifestyle between the Sioux Warrior and their beliefs of nature are bind together; basically their psychological part is based on nature. Every single community has a system and social structure which they follow to keep order within. There is no difference with the Sioux tribe; when there is a child born in the tribe, regardless of the reputation or status, he/she must follow the path of his/her ancestors (line 2 and 3); therefore, the lifestyle is predetermine from the ancestors.
The social structure is clearly the church and the military because in lines 7 and 8, “tall orders” meaning that from the above, there were orders demanded that the Warrior should accomplish, and “Maturity comes quickly into season” means the orders given, regardless if he is a kid or an adult, must be achieved. In addition “Elder mentor the timid”, is another person that the warriors should respect is the elders because they tutor them lessons that they has gone through: a life experience.
The author uses the word ‘timid” instead of using newbie or related words; timid means shy, but in this case, the author wanted to refer it as an inexperienced person. The Sioux tribe social structure is simple, a monarchy structure where the new burners obey the elders. A Sioux Warrior is a tool for war; but their idea for war is to protect the tribe and achieve prestige within all the tribes. In the poem it clearly shows how a Sioux Warrior is related to the nature and how it is involve within their society.
As mentioned above, the Sioux Warrior follows the path that its ancestors were; basically their destiny is defined by their relatives and skills are passed through generations. Darren wrote that skills exceed growth meaning that their social, mental and psychological skills are higher than the age they are. For instance, a ten years old should have known how to fight with sword, knife, fist and arrow; their obedience are higher than any other from the same age because they have to follow orders from the above and accomplish as they are demanded.
In the poem, when the author mentioned “the proven unfold me as a leader”, then Darren has become the leader among the other warriors because of his talent were higher than others. The author used the word “unfold” like a metaphor because the original meaning of the word is to extend or stretch out to a greater or the full length or open to the view. However, the author did not mean that he opened himself to be a leader, but metaphorically to blossom, to develop or come to a promising stage (unfold, 2010).
The way that a Sioux Warrior is embedded with its tribe is through war. In this poem, the Sioux tribe acts like the defenders and the innocent role because the author uses the words “intruders” and “threaten”; this means that the tribe is always in harmony and peace, and they never know when war is going to begin, therefore, they have to be prepared anytime in order to defend their nation. When intruders or enemy is nearby, the Sioux Warrior is ready to fight back.
At the end of the poem, the enemy is defeated and the author uses the word “truly”, “truly am I a Sioux Warrior”; in order to become a true Sioux Warrior, they have to win the warfare by capturing the horses from the enemy to attain wealth and influence. When they win the war, it also meant a sure road to keep or to gain prestige and leadership. The “truly” means that warfare implies ensuring the economic base of the Sioux society (Hassrick, 1964). Therefore, a Sioux Warrior must win the war against their enemies and capture the sources in order to become a true Sioux Warrior.
In order to be part of the society in the Sioux tribe, one of the ways is to gain power for the tribe by wining battles so they could be embedded within their own tribe. Through out the poem, Darren showed the reader what is the lifestyle of a Sioux Warrior is. Their beliefs and principles are different than others; they believed in nature where every animal and life has its meaning. Their structure is simple to follow by just pursuing what the tall orders believed in. nd their relationship within the tribe is to protect the nation against intruders so they can live in harmony without being interrupted by strangers. The idea of a Sioux Warrior is to protect and expand their territory in which the nature and the Buffalo were most plentiful could the Sioux expect to retain an unparalleled national wealth. That their territory was coveted, that their wealth in buffalo was desirable, were their uncertainty becomes certain and when their enemies are defeated, then they are the true Sioux Warrior.