Cheyenne - Dog Soldiers of Wyoming

A somewhat, obscure in history, tribe called the Staitans were friends with, and later absorbed into the much better known Cheyenne. The Staitans were in Wyoming by the early 1700s, maybe earlier, but by the early 1800s they were no more, absorbed, peacefully, by the Cheyenne. When the Staitans were flourishing they were considered the most warlike of tribes on the plains. They thrived in the east central area of today’s Wyoming, reaching to the edge of the Laramie Range. 

Much of the well-known Cheyenne culture was taken from the ancient Staitans including the ceremony of the Medicine Arrows, (four arrows, two for war, and two for hunting). They also adopted the Sun Dance and the Medicine of the Buffalo Head, from these people.

The Cheyenne were sometimes called Dog Soldiers and likely got that name from the French word Chen, meaning dog.  Later the Dog Soldiers were but one faction of the tribe but the entire tribe still remained know as the Dog Soldiers to most plains people of the 1800s.  The Cheyenne were driven from their home in present day Minnesota by the Sioux, who called them, Sha-hi-e-na.

Sha-h-e-na, literally meant those who spoke a language which was not understandable. Tribal groups that spoke an understandable language they were said to, “talk right,” those who did not, “talked wrong.” The Cheyenne were said to speak, only wrong words.”

With our state Legislature now in session and all the politicians in town it is interesting to note they are meeting in our state capitol. A city, Cheyenne, named after wrong talking people. Hummmmmm!

Sunset over the Laramie Range in Eastern Wyoming


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