The people of Lakota has a culture rich in values and traditions. Their way of life is very spiritual and marked by deep respect for nature.
The cosmological Lakota view is marked by the sanctity of all creation (Atkinson & Locke).
Their world view is that each and every plant, animal and human being is sacred. Moreover, the Lakota world view is also characterized by the interconnectivity of things. Life consists of parts which are pieces of a greater whole, which forms the grand scheme of the universe.
Because all things are connected, every part is crucial. The Lakota belief in this principle allows them to live a life that is harmonious with nature.In terms of religion, they believed in a Creator called Wakan Tanka (Atkinson & Locke). The Creator has a messenger in the form of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, who gave them the seven sacred ceremonies to be used for the worship of Wakan Tanka (Atkinson & Locke).
In addition, there is another religious rite called the Sun Dance, an event that consists of dancing and singing thats lasts for four days (“Introduction”).The buffalo and the horse are two of the most significant animals in Lakota culture (“Introduction”). The buffalo is a major source of nourishment for the people, and its hide allows women to engage in trade. The buffalo is such an important commodity that the Lakota people have come up with a strategy to catch them.
It is called the buffalo jump, where men, women and children alike participate in driving the animals through the cliff (“Introduction”). The horse, on the other hand, has dual functions. It is both the basis of their economy and their manner of transportation . During the 1700s, horses were the tribes’ currency (“Introduction”).
Horses became the measure of wealth, which drove people to steal from other people’s stables or to hunt for wild horses (“Introduction”). Horses also made Lakota life easier, because hunting for buffaloes became less dangerous and more convenient. The hunters need not travel by foot, they would simply ride off to where the buffaloes are (“Introduction”).The Lakota tribes people have a value system which includes the Four Great Virtues.
They are as follows: courage, respect, generosity and wisdom (Atkinson & Locke). Courage is that which describes the strong character of the Lakota people, which is their key to survival. Respect is inherent in their culture, due to their belief in the sanctity of every being. Generosity enables them to share with others not only their material wealth, but their hospitality as well.
Wisdom, in the Lakota sense, is the acceptance of the natural movements of life. It is the acknowledgment of the forces that make life possible.Initially, the Lakota people’s contact with Anglo-Americans were civil, until the incident in 1854 (Marshall). A Mormon lost his cow, which was killed by a Lakota.
Conquering Bear, a Lakota elder, displayed the virtue of generosity and offered the Mormon a horse (Marshall). He offered more horses when the Mormon refused. The army was sent to deal with the issue, but the situation took a wrong turn when guns were fired. The Lakota people, exhibiting their virtue of courage, fought back.
They killed soldiers in the process. This is how the Lakota value system brought them into conflict with Anglo-Americans.;Works CitedAtkinson, Robert, and Patricia Locke. Children as Sacred Beings.
24 Jan. 2008 ;http://www.usm.maine.
2007. 24 Jan. 2008 ;http://www.dream-catchers.
org/lakota-history.php;.Marshall, John., III.
Lakota Culture and History. 15 Sept. 2001. 24 Jan.
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