Monday, February 15, 2010

Honoring Chief Spotted Tail

The inspiration for this blog post is specifically to pay tribute to the namesake for which I have chosen to title my blog. Spotted Tail.

First though, I must clarify. I am not a Native American and can hardly do justice to this heroic Indian chief. This piece is merely intended to honor the beautiful name behind my new blog, Spotted Tails.

The proud "warrior" name Spotted Tail was bestowed upon a Brulé Lakota tribal chief named Siŋté Glešká who lived during the 1800's. Most historians agree that Spotted Tail, while once a great warrior who wore a raccoon-tail accented headdress, chose to speak of peace and human rights in later years. Chief Spotted Tail, having seen his share of bloodshed, came to regard war as pointless - an idea that humans still debate 200 years later - and became a well-respected peace chief.

It is said that Spotted Tail was born in the White River country of South Dakota and grew up amidst horses and buffalo in the Northern Plains. He was uncle to the famous Lakota warrior Crazy Horse and cousin to Conquering Bear, also a Brulé Lakota chief.

When thinking of names for this blog, I came up with the name Spotted Tail because I have a spotted dog, but I became enamoured with the story of Chief Spotted Tail. I love that he turned to peace, using words instead of weapons, and refused to participate in further wars. Imagine the guts it must have taken for this tribal chief to go against the grain in the 19th Century. As legend has it, this may have cost him his life. Chief Spotted Tail was shot and killed by a fellow Indian named Crow Dog.

For a more thorough account of Chief Spotted Tail's life, you may consult any of the following resources or choose your own.

As I enter into the wonderful world of blogging, I find it fitting that this brave ex-warrior be likened with an animal-themed blog. Being an over-the-top animal lover can be met with skepticism. This is certainly true in some places more than others. I'm confident that the totems of the great ones have got my back.

Standing Bear said "The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard."

I hope you'll come back for another dose of Spotted Tails.


  1. Wow! I'm enjoying this blog so much already. It's wonderful to learn about this great man.