Young Man Afraid of His Horses
(ca. 1830 - 1900)
He was called Tasunka Kokipapi which means "the man of whose horse we are afraid" - a reference to his being so powerful in war that his enemies even feared his horses. It was a name handed down through generations originating from the days when the Sioux first acquired horses. He was called Young Man to distinguish him from his father.
During the Red Cloud War in the 1860s, Young Man was one of the Oglala war chiefs who held back white encroachment.
During the late 1870s, Young Man became a strong friend of the whites. He knew the whites were fickle in keeping their promises, but also saw the Sioux could never be victorious again.
Young Man was made President of the Pine Ridge Indian Council and made several trips to Washington, D.C. When the Ghost Dance religion surfaced among the Sioux, Young Man wanted no part of the dangerous situation. He went hunting in Wyoming.
After the massacre at Wounded Knee, Young Man urged his people to surrender knowing this method was the only way to save his people. He helped negotiate a fairer treatment of the Sioux than many thought possible.
Young Man Afraid of His Horses is regarded negatively by some Oglala due to his friendship with the whites, but it was this friendship and pride that prevented further killing after the Wounded Knee Massacre.
Young Man Afraid of His Horses is buried in the Makansan Presbyterian Cemetery west of Oglala, South Dakota.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm