Moving Robe Woman, a Hunkpapa (Sitting Bull’s branch of the Sioux)
THERE WERE FEMALE WARRIORS TOO:
Shown here is Moving Robe Woman, a Hunkpapa (Sitting Bull’s branch of the Sioux).
Moving Robe Woman was no stranger to battle. At age 17, she took part in a war party against the Crow. In July 1876, now at about age 23, she was among the Sioux and Lakota who camped at the Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn).
On this fateful day, she was digging turnips when a warrior rode by warning women to take their children to the hills. General Custer was about to attack.
Moving Robe Woman raced back to her lodge where she learned that her brother, One Hawk, was killed in an earlier battle with Custer’s men.
Now, in deep mourning and fueled by revenge, Moving Robe braided her hair, painted her face red, mounted her horse, and with her brother’s war staff in hand, galloped into battle. “I was a woman,” she reportedly said, “But I was not afraid.”
Her determination emboldened the male warriors to fight ferociously for their way of life, in what would end up an overwhelming victory for the Native Americans.
Custer’s entire cavalry, 268 men, himself included, were killed—at least one at the hands of Moving Robe.
She may have gotten her vengeance, but it was bitter, and it came at a cost. She later said, “[No one] staged a victory dance that night.
They were mourning their own dead.” Moving Robe Woman died in 1935 at Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. She was about 81 years old