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Snow Owl, July  2003

     Hump is one of those Native American personages whose personal information of early years such as birth and childhood is not known. He was called Etokeah, however, to this point I can not find any “English” translation for it. Hump eventually rose to become a Chief within the People known as the Miniconjou Sioux.  

     As a compatriot of Gall, Hump also experienced the events involving Red Cloud’s activities and actually led the initial charge on Col. Fetterman (that foolish man) which ended with Calvary casualties numbered 90 slain.  

     Hump also was with Crazy Horse at the battle of the Wagon Box, however, this attack failed. Some so-called “scholars” try to point out that losses such as this by the Native American showed their inferiority. Hardly. It must ever be remember that at this time and point, the Native Americans were still fighting and waging war by “their” standards, which involved non-organizational troop movements as well as merely trying to “count coup” whereas the “enemy”, the US troopers fought to kill and with the Civil War behind them – did it with organized skill and intent.  

     Hump as well, was involved in the Custer Affair. However, when the word came of the advancing troops, prior to the actual battle at the Little Big Horn, Hump’s luck began to turn…either to the good, or bad, depending on one’s viewpoint.  
He had not taken time to mount on of his own horse, and the unknown mount promptly threw him into the dust. Mounting another, he charged toward the troopers whereupon his horse was shot from under him via a bullet that first passed through his leg above the knee. Due to this, Hump was not involved in the final major battle.
     Along with many others, Hump also went into Canada ; however, he and his Miniconjou Sioux were the last band to do so. Eventually placed on the reservation, Hump again went across the grain by maintaining the old way of using lodges/tipis as well as the wearing of traditional clothing, whereas the rest of the bands came to adopt “white” clothing.  

     As is well documented, it was not long before the authority of the heretofore other Chiefs slowly but steadily leaked away. However, Hump continued to assert his leadership over his people and this presence eventually led to Hump being more feared by the “white man” than Sitting Bull. The degree of this fear can be seen in the fact that when the Ghost Dance arose, no attempt whatsoever was tried to arrest Hump.  

     Still, Hump did not become involved in the Ghost Dance. This was due to some finally intelligent thinking on someone’s part within the Government/Military system. They assigned a Captain Ewers to Fort Bennet , South Dakota . Now, Captain Ewers had somehow along the way become a trusted friend of Hump. Thus he was impressed by Captain Ewer’s courge when along with a Lieutenant Hale, rode 60 miles into Miniconjou Camp at Cherry Creek. Hump listened to the messages that Ewers brought, and avoided the Ghost Dance fever, as well as the pure murderous intent called Wounded Knee .  

     Hump was with the contingent of prominent Sioux that went to Washington in order to plea for a peaceful ending of the machinations up to this point.

     It is interesting to note that Hump is credited with teaching the basic lessons of warfare to his more famous compatriot, Chief Crazy Horse.
     You will find his final resting place at the Episcopal Cemetery in Cherry Creek , South Dakota .


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