Sunday, July 23, 2017

Badlands or Pitifullands

Nakota horses survey the landscape of Charred Wood River Country (Little Missouri River Country), also known as the Badlands, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The Badlands Or The Pitifullands
Place Name Of Little Missouri River Country

By Dakota Wind
Medora, N.D. (TFS) – Theodore Roosevelt National Park has been a part of the National Park Service since 1947. A site or park was in talks to honor the late president since 1921, and two units of the park were set aside to remember Roosevelt, despite a superintendent’s report findings that this park was unjustified.

The western part of the state, along the Little Missouri River is scenic. Some even say it’s majestic and open, inspiring a sense of smallness, wonder, and even isolation. The character of the landscape left a lasting impression on a president, and continues to do the same to millions of visitors today.

Roosevelt split his time between Little Missouri River country and New York from 1884 to 1887. In 1887, after a hard cold winter in which Roosevelt lost half his stock, he sold what remained so that his managers wouldn’t suffer a loss. He did not spend one continuous year in Dakota Territory.

Both units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park reside in the North Dakota Badlands. The Badlands (one word). 



The Charred Wood River runs through the Pitiful Landscape. 

The Little Missouri River is known to the Lakȟóta as Čhaŋšótka Wakpá, or “Charred Wood.” The Lakȟóta call a landscape by the name of the water or stream that runs through it, so Little Missouri River country is called Čhaŋšótka Wakpá Makȟóčhe, or “Charred Wood River Country.”

The landscape through which the Charred Wood River runs, is known as the Badlands. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park brochure cites the Lakȟóta word Makȟóšiča, which is “Badlands.” Makȟá means “Earth.” Šíča means “Bad.” When these two words are compounded it becomes one word: Makȟóšiča. 



The visitor center proudly displays the name of the country as the Lakota know it, "Mako Shika." 

The visitor center at TRNP differs in word usage from the info it publishes. The museum showcases a panel which instead tells visitors in loud orange words “Mako Shika.” Using the new LLC standard, Mako Shika becomes Makȟóšhika. 
Mako Shika, or Makȟóšhika comes from the words Makȟá meaning “Earth,” and Úŋšika meaning “Poor,” or “Pitiful.”

Badlands or Pitifullands? 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lakota Geography

A view of the Great Plains with Dakota-Lakota place names. South is the orienting direction on this map. Makȟóčhe Wašté means “The Beautiful Country.” This is the name the Lakota have for the Great Plains, and by extension, North America.
Lakȟóta Geography
A World View Perspective

By Dakota Wind
Bismarck, N.D. (TFS) – Everyone knows the four cardinal directions. In English these are north, south, east, and west. The Lakȟóta name these four winds, or directions: Itókaǧata (South; “Facing The Downstream Direction”), Wiyóȟpeyata (West; Direction Where The Sun Sets), Wazíyata (North; Direction Of The Pine Tree), and Wiyóhiŋyaŋpata (East; Direction From Which The Sun Comes).

These four directions are represented in the medicine wheel by colors. Black may represent the west. White may represent the north. Red the east, and south by yellow. The color designation isn’t “set in stone.” In fact, some Lakȟóta employ blue or green as well. Many medicine wheels are employed oriented to the north. 

Rivers and streams are often known by more than one name. For example, the Dakota and Lakota call the Cannonball River "Íŋyaŋwakaǧapi Wakpá (Stone Makes For Itself River)," and they also call it "Íŋyaŋiya Wakpá (Talking Stone River)." 

The Lakȟóta memorized the landscape from a ground view perspective. The landscape was named according to the stream within. For example: Čhaŋšótka Wakpá Makȟóčhe, which means “Towering Tree River Country,” this presently refers to the country through which the Little Missouri River runs; Mníšoše Makȟóčhe means “Water A-stir Country,” which refers to country through which the Missouri River runs.

The Lakȟóta call the Great Plains, and by extension North America, “Makȟóčhe Wašté,” which means “The Beautiful Country.” The Lakota Language Consortium’s “New Lakota Dictionary, 2nd Edition,” has an entry for North America as “Khéya Wíta,” which means “Turtle Island.” Perhaps there are Lakȟóta people who call it so. 

A Hunkpapa map of the Little Bighorn Fight is oriented towards the south. Attention is paid more to the layout of the camps than to how the conflict unfolded.

At times the Lakȟóta employed maps, drawing or painting from whatever available resources were at hand (i.e. paper and pencil, cloth and ink, hide and paint, on the ground with a stick). When such maps were constructed, south seems to be the orienting direction.

This map relates the testimony of Takes His Shield, a survivor of the 1863 Whitestone Hill Massacre in Dakota Territory. It was rendered by the hand of Cottonwood and is oriented to the south. 

A testimonial map of the 1863 Whitestone Hill Massacre by Takes The Shield (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna) and rendered by Cottonwood (Iháŋktȟuŋwaŋna) was executed with the south at top of the map. Three Húŋkpapȟa maps of the 1876 Little Bighorn Fight were executed with south as the orienting direction.