Cover image for The Sioux : the Dakota and Lakota nations
The Sioux : the Dakota and Lakota nations
Gibbon, Guy E., 1939-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2003.
Physical Description:
xii, 311 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Reading the Sioux. Basic Sioux history. Problems with modern history and ethnography. The Sioux as historical relic, exotica, subject, and text. Reorienting the reader. An overview of the text -- The prehistory of the Sioux, 9500 B.C.-A.D. 1650. The received view of Sioux prehistory. The anthropology and archaeology of identity. The archaeological record. Skeletal biology. Historical linguistics. A model of Sioux prehistory -- The French and English fur trade, 1650-1803. The French and English fur-trade period. Sioux culture. De-scribing historic documents. Reading maps. The archaeology of historic Sioux culture. Entangled objects. Imperfect translations. Women's roles/women's voices -- The early American period, 1803-1850. The early American period. Explaining Sioux warfare. Engendered objects and spaces. Kinship and social organization -- Fighting for survival, 1850-1889. The fight for survival. Looking through pictures. Custer's last stand? Men's clubs (associations). Traditional religion -- Assimilation and allotment, 1889-1934. Reservation dependency. Storytelling. Prophetic movements. Colonizing time. Language and colonial power -- Restoration and reorganization, 1934-1975. The re-emergence of Sioux culture. Health and disease. Sioux households. Formal education. The Dakota language : dictionaries, grammars, texts, and the ethnography of speaking -- The Sioux today : self-determination, 1975-2000. A new independence. Sioux humor. The stereotypes we know them by. Who is a Sioux? Come on and soar, we are eagles!
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.D1 G493 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book covers the entire historical range of the Sioux, from their emergence as an identifiable group in late prehistory to the year 2000. The author has studied the material remains of the Sioux for many years. His expertise combined with his informative and engaging writing style and numerous photographs create a compelling and indispensable book.

A leading expert discusses and analyzes the Sioux people with rigorous scholarship and remarkably clear writing.
Raises questions about Sioux history while synthesizing the historical and anthropological research over a wide scope of issues and periods.
Provides historical sketches, topical debates, and imaginary reconstructions to engage the reader in a deeper thinking about the Sioux.
Includes dozens of photographs, comprehensive endnotes and further reading lists.

Author Notes

Guy Gibbon is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He has worked as an anthropologist on Sioux reservations and pioneered excavations of early Sioux settlements in Minnesota's northern forests. He is the author of Explanation in Archaeology (1989) and the editor of Archaeology of Prehistoric Native America: An Encyclopedia (1998).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Readable and sophisticated, this book covers both the famous western Sioux of the plains (Lakota) and the less well known forest dwelling eastern Dakota, from the earliest humans in their Minnesota homeland (9500 BCE) to 2000 CE. Sitting Bull and Black Elk are mentioned, but the emphasis is on dynamics of Sioux history: what factors were Sioux people responding to? Interspersed with events are sections interrogating data, explaining their limitations, and discussing how scholars might interpret their sources. Gibbon (anthropology, Univ. of Minnesota) presents Sioux points of view and explicates differences between Sioux values and ways of life, and Western ones. A leitmotif is Sioux survival throughout history: late prehistory; the fur trade period of 1650-1803; early American incursions, 1803-50; colonization, 1850-89; displacements and reservations, 1889-1934; Indian Reorganization Act, 1934-75; and self-determination (including casino-based economies), 1975-2000. Underlying this chronicle of real people living and dying are questions of how European Americans labeled these people "Sioux" (it's not their name for themselves), reified their "culture," and stereotyped "Indians." Gibbon means to "prod readers into thinking deeply, critically and diligently" about these original Minnesotans who became classic war-bonneted American Indians. Suitable as a text, the book engages general readers, too. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All libraries. A. B. Kehoe University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Reading the Sioux
2 The Prehistory of the Sioux, 9500 BC-AD 1650
3 The French and English Fur Trade, 1650-1803
4 The Early American Period, 1803-1850
5 Fighting for Survival, 1850-1889
6 Assimilation and Allotment, 1889-1934
7 Restoration and Reorganization, 1934-1975
8 The Sioux Today: Self-Determination, 1975-2000