Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies


Food is a necessary element for satisfying a basic need of man. Without it, man could not exist. All of these foods have caloric values and vitamin content, and all are available to the various societies. A society also defines the purpose and emphasis to be given food. It may be a means for stilling hunger or getting nutrition; it may regard eating as a duty or virtue, or as a gustatory pleasure, or even as a social or religious communion. The Dakota’s choice of foods was originally fashioned by the kinds of foods available. Through recordings in history, the Dakotas may be traced back to the time they lived in the woodlands around the Mille Lacs area of Minnesota. While on plains, a nomadic existence was necessary for hunting buffalo. When the Dakotas were placed on reservations in 1876 and the buffalo were becoming rapidly rear extinction, important changes were forced in Dakota food practices and way of life. Their nomadic way of life was ended. This study is concerned with the Dakota food practices between 1800 and 1900, and the effect forced changes in food practices had on the Dakota’s way of life when they were put on reservations. This study is to serve as a baseline from which the contemporary study may be made.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dakota Indians -- Food
Lakota Indians -- Food


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University