Makȟóčhe Wašté, The Beautiful Country: An Indigenous Landscape Perspective
Goodhouse, Dakota Wind
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The Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires; “Great Sioux Nation”) occupied an area from the woodlands to the Great Plains. The landscape and the wind influenced their language and culture in a way that suggests a long occupation. Major landmarks like Ȟesápa (Black Hills), Matȟó Thípila (Bear Lodge; “Devils Tower”), Pahá Makȟáska (White Earth Butte; White Butte, ND), and Oǧúǧa Owápi (Images Burned Into The Stone; Jeffers Petroglyphs, MN) were woven into the cultural identity of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ. The pictographic record, traditional song, and oral tradition recall events like first contact with the horse at the Čhaŋsáŋsaŋ Ožáte (White Birch Fork), or the James River-Missouri River confluence in C.E. 1692. The historical pictographic record, oral tradition, and occupation will be examined in this paper to support the idea that Očhéthi Šakówiŋ have a cultural occupation of the Great Plains that long predates the European record.