(ca. 1823 - 1881)
His name was Sinte Gleska which means "Spotted Tail". Spotted Tail was known as Jumping Buffalo in his youth and received his later name from the raccoon tails given to him by fur trappers.
A member of the Brule Sioux, Spotted Tail was not a hereditary chief, but received his appointment based on his ability and honesty.
Spotted Tail won his first wife in a knife duel, distinguished himself in battles against the Pawnee, was involved in the Grattan Massacre and periodically hit wagon trains.
Spotted Tail stunned the U.S. military when he and two other indians accused of murder walked into Fort Laramie and gave themselves up. Imprisoned for a time, he learned to read and write English.
Spotted Tail was involved in the negotiation of the mineral rights of the Black Hills, a peaceful surrender for Crazy Horse and became chief of the Brule and Oglala since Red Cloud had fallen out of favor.
Rival factions began to brew and Spotted Tail 'stole' wives of several Brule Sioux. On August 5, 1881, Spotted Tail was killed by Crow Dog.
Spotted Tail is buried in the Rosebud Cemetery just north of Rosebud, South Dakota.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence
Books About Spotted Tail
Spotted Tail's Folk: A History of the Brule Sioux by George E. Hyde
Brule: The Sioux People of the Rosebud by Paul Dyck
This book is a collection of photos of the Brule Sioux.