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How the Lakotas are living today.

No, no more tipi, sorry. Even though the typical tents had been a traditional and very practical home for the nomadic tribes of the Great Pains for hundreds of years. Today they are mostly living in regular houses or trailer homes forming various villages and communities throughout the sovereign reservations.

The majority of the Sioux is found in South Dakota, approximately 100.000. A total of nine reservations still exists, Pine Ridge being one of the largest with around 30.000 inhabitants. The Sioux in many cases refer to themselves as Lakota, one of three dialects of the Sioux language (the other two being Dakota and Nakota). South Dakota is the homeland and traditional territory of various Sioux tribes. Legendary and well known leaders as Crazy Horse, SittingBull or Red Cloud were living here.

In the far west of South Dakota, at the border to Wyoming you find the Black Hills, the holy mountains of the Lakota, where the heart of Mother Earth is beating. The Black Hills are the oldest mounatin range in North America, with the highest elevated point east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Europeean Pyrenees. Harney Peak measures an elevation of 2200m/ft, which is average compared to other peaks in the Alps.

But South Dakota is best know for Mount Rushmore, the gigantic portrait of the four US presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt, a national treasure. Even though Crazy Horse Mountain, just a few miles away might be more impressive once completed. It will show the granite sculpture of possibly the most legendary warrior of the Lakota riding his hors and pointing to ‘where is people lie buried.’ Work on the massive projects stared over 60 years ago, with the finished monument measuring roughly 600 feet in length and being almost as high. While being a uniquely humongous endeavour, it is also highly debated among the natives. And completion unpredictable.

The Black Hills are also home to one of the largest free roaming buffalo herds in the country. In Custer Park the rangers count 1200 plus heads grazing on the softly rolling hills and slopes. Additional buffalos can be found in the Badlands, a harsh, desertlike landscape with schroffen rock and mud/Lehm formations and endless prairie.It is the remainder of a gigantic, prehistoric ocean that once existed here. Exactly through the middle of South Dakota cuts the mighty Missouri, the longest river in North America. Numerous stretches have been dammed to produce electricity. In the heart of state you’ll find the capital Pierre flanking his banks. Click interested Lakota Country or the State of South Dakota to find out more about the region and options to visit. Since 2007 we are also guiding small groups of interested people for a two week experience to the Pine Ridge reservation to support various projects. If you’re interested check out the website of our partner Travel Beyond.