Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 02:35 PM Dec 2014

Wounded Knee (12-29-1890)

“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.”
-- Black Elk

This haunting quote from the Lakota holy man Black Elk describes his insight on the Wounded Knee Massacre. Today is the anniversary of the December 29, 1890 conflict, in which the US military attacked a group of Indian people who had surrendered their freedom the day before.

Spotted Elk, a chief of the Miniconjou, had led approximately 350 people, from various tribes, on a trip towards the reservation the military had selected for them. They had camped along the bank of the Chanjkpe-Opi-Wakpala, or Wounded Knee Creek.

According to historians, on the morning of the 29th, the military attempted to secure the guns that some of the Indians had. A deaf man, Black Coyote, did not understand when a soldier attempted to take his gun. Thus, the violence began: over 200 Indian men, women, and children were killed, and 51 wounded (4 men, and 47 women and children); some of the wounded died in the days that followed. Twenty-five soldiers were killed, and 39 were wounded (six of the wounded died in the following days).

The dead Indians were buried in a mass grave. The Wounded Knee Massacre would mark the end of the “Indian wars” of the 1800s. There were, of course, other incidents of conflict, where people were injured and killed. Though it was not the only such massacre, it stood out in our nation’s history.

27 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Wounded Knee (12-29-1890) (Original Post) H2O Man Dec 2014 OP
thank you for remembering. niyad Dec 2014 #1
Thank you. H2O Man Dec 2014 #17
thank you! G_j Dec 2014 #2
Very good! H2O Man Dec 2014 #18
And this pipi_k Dec 2014 #3
Right. H2O Man Dec 2014 #19
i remember reading the book and crying. what a sad chapter in american history. spanone Dec 2014 #4
It was terrible. H2O Man Dec 2014 #24
Oomaka Tokatakiya Sunlei Dec 2014 #5
Thank you for that information. I've never seen anything about this on the news. sabrina 1 Dec 2014 #12
you're welcome Sunlei Dec 2014 #15
Thanks for this. Lifelong Protester Dec 2014 #21
There is a video SamKnause Dec 2014 #26
Thank you. jwirr Dec 2014 #6
Thank you. geardaddy Dec 2014 #7
Murder turbinetree Dec 2014 #8
They rose up again in 1973. When AIM took on the GOONs and the FBI. Comrade Grumpy Dec 2014 #9
Spotted Elk, frozen. The dead were left to be buried because of the cold until several days later. panader0 Dec 2014 #10
This books tells all "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" Dee Brown. Stuart G Dec 2014 #11
Two other books worth reading as well: blackspade Dec 2014 #16
I just recently read the book again TorchTheWitch Dec 2014 #13
Fucking shameful blackspade Dec 2014 #14
- G_j Dec 2014 #20
The Real Native Americans colsohlibgal Dec 2014 #22
most excellent post Ramses Dec 2014 #23
How many of these massacres can we ignore before JEB Dec 2014 #25
"how many times can the cannonballs fire?" niyad Dec 2014 #27


(115,029 posts)
1. thank you for remembering.
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 03:05 PM
Dec 2014

a month ago was the 150th anniversary of sand creek. incredibly sad chapters in this nation's story.

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
17. Thank you.
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 05:41 PM
Dec 2014

I had thought about including some information on Sand Creek. Then I figured that I'd try to keep the OP shorter, and hoped that Sand Creek might be brought up if people responded. So you know how happy I was to see that you nailed it on response #1!


(40,373 posts)
2. thank you!
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 03:06 PM
Dec 2014

December 29, 1890 Chief Bigfoot and 300 or more of his band of people, mostly women, children and old people, were unarmed and massacred.

The Bigfoot Memorial Riders or Oomaka Tokatakiya (Future Generations) riders and the Sitting Bull Memorial Riders from Standing Rock arrive at Wounded Knee massacre site after approximately 150+ miles on horseback in the snow following the footsteps of Chief Bigfoot's band of people in 1890. They are honoring, remembering, and praying for the future.

Tomorrow they continue on to Pine Ridge, SD.
If you would like to help with next year's ride by donating please contact us on our facebook page or via our website when it's up and running massacreatwoundedknee.com.

Song: This One's for the People by Mitch Walking Elk (www.MitchWalkingElk.com) used with permission.
Photography and editing by Oitancan Zephier

Video: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=547286162074856


(21,020 posts)
3. And this
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 03:06 PM
Dec 2014

is the real tragedy we should never lose sight of, nor repeat.

I've read quite a few accounts of the massacre, and each one has had me in tears.

This is not the shiny-object-du-jour which is the stupid fight over what a football team calls itself.

This is slaughter.

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
19. Right.
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 05:46 PM
Dec 2014

There are a number of really good accounts of the massacre. And even those that attempt to simply stick to the facts are moving. I think highly of Dee Brown's book, too, though there is such power in Black Elk's description.

H2O Man

(73,997 posts)
24. It was terrible.
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 11:24 PM
Dec 2014

It is one of the lessons in man's inhumanity to man that we have not -- as a nation -- learned from. If we had, incidents such as the My Lai Massacre would not have happened. And I say that to point a finger not at the soldiers, but rather, at the politicians who created the situation where such immoral brutality was sure to happen.


(22,651 posts)
5. Oomaka Tokatakiya
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 03:17 PM
Dec 2014
Every December, hundreds of American Indian riders pay tribute to those who died in The Wounded Knee Massacre by tracing the path of their ancestors.

It is called Oomaka Tokatakiya, the Future Generations Ride, and it is an epic journey spanning nearly 300 miles of historic and sometimes hostile territory. It will take place this year as it has for the last quarter of a century, with some 300 riders and their horses departing in mid-December to trace the paths of their ancestors across the South Dakota landscape, and find in themselves a strength and power that will change their lives.


(22,651 posts)
15. you're welcome
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 05:11 PM
Dec 2014

imo a spirit walk is not intended to be advertised or 'general' news. It is a tribute, a cleansing & very uplifting.


(24,790 posts)
8. Murder
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 04:01 PM
Dec 2014

This act of violence of the Natives of this country, speaks volumes of how the natives were treated back then and to this day, no respect, high unemployment, lack of housing, lack of heath care, lack of education, ect.........


Comrade Grumpy

(13,184 posts)
9. They rose up again in 1973. When AIM took on the GOONs and the FBI.
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 04:08 PM
Dec 2014

GOONs = Guardians of the Oglala Nation, the thug boys of then tribal chairman Richard Wilson.

This is when those FBI guys got blasted on the Pine Ridge. And Leonard Peltier is still in prison for it.

Stuart G

(38,527 posts)
11. This books tells all "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" Dee Brown.
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 04:50 PM
Dec 2014

An unbelievable book to read, about the United States Government's treatment of Native American Nations..

You are warned...It is as bad as you can imagine. And it wasn't once but more, much more.. Our government took their land, killed their warriors, their women, their children. It took their means of living, and hurt these people in ways...I cannot say...If you don't know, then read this one and find out..


(10,056 posts)
16. Two other books worth reading as well:
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 05:14 PM
Dec 2014

The Politics of Indian Removal by Michael D. Green

And How the West was Lost by Stephen Aron

Both of these deal with the early nineteenth century, but they provide a window into the US governments late nineteenth century conflicts with the Indians of the 'New West.'


(11,065 posts)
13. I just recently read the book again
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 04:57 PM
Dec 2014

Hadn't read it for years. I don't think I cried so much reading anything.

There's lots of good documentaries about it on YouTube. I even found the full movie based on the book...


(5,275 posts)
22. The Real Native Americans
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 08:52 PM
Dec 2014

No amount of money for reparations could be enough.

I'm amazed anyone bought phrases like "Manifest Destiny". Or didn't get how bogus their claims of "discovery" of this land was.

These issues linger today, sadly.



(721 posts)
23. most excellent post
Mon Dec 29, 2014, 09:00 PM
Dec 2014

One of the seminal and deeply disturbing books i have ever read. I dont think i could stand to watch the movie that was made of it.




(4,748 posts)
25. How many of these massacres can we ignore before
Tue Dec 30, 2014, 01:15 AM
Dec 2014

we realize what we are? Wounded Knee, fire bombing Dresden, atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, My Lai, Fallujah.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Wounded Knee (12-29-1890)