Wild West History Association Dedicated to the history and lore of the American West
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Hump

 

(1848 - December 10, 1908)

 

Hump was called Etokeah and became a Chief of the Miniconjou Sioux. The details of Hump's birth and early childhood were not recorded. The translation of his name is not listed in my Lakota-English Dictionary.

 

An active participant in the Red Cloud war, Hump led the initial charge on Colonel Fetterman where 90 soldiers were killed. Siding with Crazy Horse at the Wagon Box fight, the attack on the wood cutting soldiers failed. The Native Americans were still fighting the old way as a disorganized troop merely trying to count coup while the soldiers where fighting to kill.

 

Again with Crazy Horse at the Rosebud Battle against George Crook, Hump led his Miniconjou Sioux helping stop this column in their trek to meet Custer prior to the Little Big Horn. At the Little Big Horn when the alarm was sounded Hump jumped on an unknown mount which threw him to the ground. Hump rushed, mounted another horse and charged toward the soldiers. His horse was shot under him and a bullet entered above the knee and came out at the hip. Hump was strained there due to the wound and did not fight the main battle.

 

Hump went to Canada and returned to the United States being the last band to do so. On the reservation when other tribes had adopted white dress and housing, Hump's band settled at Cherry Creek in South Dakota and maintained the old ways using lodges (tipis) and traditional clothing.

 

On the reservation when the authority of other chiefs wained, Hump continued to assert leadership over his band. This presence made Hump more feared than Sitting Bull. When the Ghost Dance religion frenzy surfaced among the Sioux, an arrest of Hump was not even attempted. Instead the military reassigned Captain Ezra Ewers, a trusted friend of Hump, to Fort Bennet in South Dakota. With Lieutenant Hale, Ewers rode the 60 miles into Hump's camp at Cherry Creek. Impressed with Ewer's courage, Hump listened to Ewer's message and avoided the Ghost Dance religion.

 

After the Wounded Knee Massacre, Hump with other prominent Sioux went to Washington, DC pleading a peaceful end to the tragedy.

 

Hump was a distinguished leader of his people and he taught the basic lessons of warfare to Crazy Horse.

 

Hump is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Cherry Creek, SD at the west edge of town.

 

 

 

Gravesite Map

 

Information compiled by Steve Grimm

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© Wild West History Association - a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation

http://www.WildWestHistory.org