Young Bull Bear, Southern Tsitsistas, son of Bull Bear
Bull Bear was a Dog Men (Dog Soldier) leader by 1863, Father P.J. Powell stated he was then 4th chief of this band among Tall Bull, White Horse and Little Robe.
In 1864 he represented the Dog Men at the council of Camp Weld, near Denver, where he was photographed for the first time (see below).
He played a role in numerous historical events in Southern Cheyenne history, for example the Medicine Lodge Treaty.
Cheyenne are an indigenous people of the Great Plains, who are of the Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne Nation is composed of two united tribes, the So'taeo'o (more commonly spelled as Suhtai or Sutaio) and the Tsetsehestahese (more commonly spelled as Tsitsistas). Today Cheyenne people are enrolled in two federally recognized tribes, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana.
The Cheyenne are thought to have branched off other tribes of Algonquian stock inhabiting lands around the Great Lakes in present-day Minnesota, perhaps ca. 1500. In historic times they moved west, migrating across the Mississippi River and into North and South Dakota. During the early 19th century, the Cheyenne formed a unified tribe, with more centralized authority through ritual ceremonies and structure than other Plains Indians. Having settled the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Powder River Country of present-day Montana, they introduced the horse culture to Lakota (Sioux) bands about 1730. Allied with the Arapaho, the Cheyenne pushed the Kiowa to the South. In turn, they were pushed west by the more numerous Lakota.
In the centuries before European contact, the Cheyenne were at times allied with bands of the Lakota and Arapaho. In the 18th century, they migrated west from Lakota warriors, but by the next century, bands of Lakota had followed them into the Black Hills and Powder River Country. By the mid-nineteenth century, they were sometimes allied with other Plains tribes.
The Cheyenne are one of the best known of the Plains tribes. The Cheyenne Nation formed into ten bands, spread across the Great Plains, from southern Colorado to the Black Hills in South Dakota. At the same time, they created a centralized structure through ritual ceremonies, such as the Sun Dance. When gathered, the bands leaders met in formal council. Alone among the Plains tribes, they waged war at the tribal level, first against their traditional enemy, the Crow, and later (1856–1879) against United States Army forces. In the mid-19th century, the bands began to split, with some bands choosing to remain near the Black Hills, while others chose to remain near the Platte Rivers of central Colorado.
The Northern Cheyenne, known in Cheyenne either as Notameohmésêhese meaning "Northern Eaters" or simply as Ohmesehese meaning "Eaters", live in southeast Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. In the 2000 census, the reservation had a total population of 4,400, with 72.8%, or about 3,250 people, identifying as Cheyenne. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe reports 9,945 enrolled tribal members as of 2011.
The Southern Cheyenne, known in Cheyenne as Heevahetaneo'o meaning "Roped People", together with the Southern Arapaho, form the federally recognized tribe, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, situated in western Oklahoma. Their combined population is 12,130, as of 2008. In 2003, about 8,000 of these identified as Cheyenne. With continued intermarriage, it is difficult to separate the tribes administratively.
The Cheyenne Nation is composed of two united tribes, the So'taeo'o (more commonly as Sutaio) and the Tsétsêhéstâhese (more commonly as the Tsitsistas; singular: Tsétsêhéstaestse), which translates to "those like us" or "Human Beings." These two tribes had always traveled together, becoming fully merged sometime after 1831, when they were still noted as having separate camps. The Suhtai were said to have originally had slightly different speech and customs from their traveling companions.
The name "Cheyenne" derives from Dakota Sioux exonym for them, Sahiyena (meaning "little Sahiya"). Though the identity of the Sahiya is not known, many Great Plains tribes assume it means Cree or some other people who spoke an Algonquian language related to Cree and Cheyenne. The Cheyenne word for Ojibwa is "Sáhea'eo'o," a word that sounds similar to the Dakota word Sahiya.
One of the most common etymologies for Cheyenne is "a bit like the people of an alien speech" (literally, "red-talker"). According to George Bird Grinnell, the Dakota had referred to themselves and fellow Siouan-language bands as "white talkers", and those of other language families, such as the Algonquian Cheyenne, as "red talkers" (Sahiyena).
The Cheyenne of Montana and Oklahoma speak the Cheyenne language, known as Tsehesenestsestotse (common spelling: Tsisinstsistots). Only a handful of vocabulary differs between the two locations. The Cheyenne alphabet contains fourteen letters. The Cheyenne language is one of the larger Algonquian-language group.
The earliest known historical record of the Cheyenne comes from the mid-seventeenth century, when a group of Cheyenne visited the French Fort Crevecoeur, near present-day Chicago, Illinois. The Cheyenne at this time lived between the Mississippi River and Mille Lacs Lake in present-day Minnesota. The Cheyenne economy was based on collection of wild rice and hunting, especially of bison which lived in the prairies 70-80 miles west of the Cheyenne villages.
According to tribal tradition, during the 17th century the Cheyenne had been driven by the Ho hé (Assiniboine) from the Great Lakes region to present-day Minnesota and North Dakota, where they established villages. The most prominent of the ancient Cheyenne villages is Biesterfeldt Village, in eastern North Dakota along the Sheyenne River. Tradition tells that they first reaching the Missouri River in 1676. A more recent analysis of early records posits that at least some of the Cheyenne remained in the Mille Lac region of Minnesota until c. 1765, when the Chippewa (Ojibwe) defeated the Dakota with firearms — pushing the Cheyenne in turn to the Minnesota River, where they were reported in 1766.
On the Missouri, the Cheyenne came into contact with the neighboring Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara nations, and they adopted many of their cultural characteristics. They were first of the later Plains tribes into the Black Hills and Powder River Country. About 1730 they introduced the horse to Lakota bands. Conflict with migrating Lakota and Ojibwa nations forced the Cheyenne further west, and they in turn pushed the Kiowa to the south. By 1776 the Lakota had overwhelmed the Cheyenne and taken over much of their territory near the Black Hills. In 1804, Lewis and Clark visited a surviving Cheyenne village in North Dakota. Such European American explorers learned many different names for the Cheyenne, and did not realize how the different sections were forming a unified tribe.
Despite being an oral culture, the Cheyenne developed a complex centralized authority and ritual ceremonialism that united the tribe. The ten bands had four leaders each, and the forty-four men (Council of Forty-Four) met to deliberate at regular tribal gatherings, centered around the Sun Dance In addition, they developed the ceremony of the Sacred Arrows, which they carried when they waged tribal-level war.
By the mid-19th century, the Cheyenne had mostly abandoned their earlier sedentary agricultural and pottery traditions because of changed conditions. They fully adopted the classic nomadic Plains culture. They replaced their earth lodges with portable tipis and switched their diet from fish and agricultural produce, to mainly bison and wild fruits and vegetables. Having acquired horses, they adopted a nomadic lifestyle, with their range expanding from the upper Missouri River into what is now Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and South Dakota.
Photograph was taken in 1904 and was Hand Oil Tinted by artist, Margaret A. Rogers.