Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology and Rural Studies


The Teton Dakota Indians of the northern Great Plains have stirred the imagination of the people in America since they were first encountered by the early explorers. The frontiersmen found them living in the woodlands of the western Great Lakes where they were settled farmers. A century of warfare between the Chippewa and the Dakotas finally came to an end when the former group had occupied the woodland farms of northern Minnesota and the latter had migrated on to the plains. After wandering and fighting as they retreated westward, the Teton Dakotas were gradually transformed from peaceful woodsmen into skilled hunters and feared warriors. Historians have fully recorded how they were the most severe block to the westward expansion of settlements for several generations. While the Black Hills of South Dakota became their spiritual home, they were a mobile people, following the seasonal movements of the vast buffalo herd. The Teton Dakota warriors were restrained on reservations in the western South Dakota following their inevitable defeat by the frontier cavalry. Their reservation experience has not been characterized by refulgent understanding of their conditions and needs. Contrariwise, they have suffered material and cultural losses which have been evidenced in a declining level of community living. It is the question of determining the interaction of the Pine Ridge Indians economic position with his food practices and his health that serves as the focus of this study. Chapter II will attempt to survey the contemporary buying practices of the Pine Ridge Sioux in relation to his income, and from field observations. Chapter III will discuss the discontinuities which are prevalent in the contemporary culture of the Pine Ridge Reservation as a product of de- culturization. The conflict which exists between traditional and modern modes of living on the reservation will be treated in chapter IV. In the companion chapter V a review of the literature provides a theoretical basis for the study. Chapter VII explains certain conclusions and implications resulting from the significant findings of this study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dakota Indians -- Economic conditions
Dakota Indians -- Food
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (S.D.)


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University