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Chief Red Fish

Chief Red Fish

Upper Yanktonai chief, Cuthead (Pabaksa) band.


His death in 1928 and his daughter Eva Little Chief


His boyhood name was Mahpiya Howaste (Good Voice Cloud), "but when he was made Chief his name was changed to Red Fish". His father was All Over Black, a Yanktonai chief in the 1860s-70s period. He is a chief of a small band, on dances he is seen with a buffalo head-dress, and he belonged to a war soldier society.  He often dances on the extreme outside of the circle, and watches the distance and shades his eyes as he watches; at other times he glares scowlingly at the sun, because, as he tells me: “I am the bravest man among them and so I have the right to dance on the outside of the circle so I will be the first to meet any enemies who may come around from men or spirits.” Red Fish had two wives in 1915, which the government allowed him to keep as he had them both a long time.  One died in 1919.

While Red Fish was on the war path with a party of Sioux against the Crows, a Crow warrior shot at him with two arrows.  Red Fish shot the enemy with a bullet in his breast and he fell down dead.  Red Fish made first coup on him and took his scalp.  Red Fish is represented in warrior’s clout and eagle feather buffalo head-dress and face and body painted red.  The Crow enemy has the regular pompadour hair and the dash of red paint shows his scalp was taken.  The two arrows are the one shot by the enemy.  The ‘first coup’ is taken by Red Fish in this instance, by the rifle.  The Crow has dark clout and leggings, while Red Fish is dressed in clout only. In a pictograph drawing by Red Fish.  Red Fish is in buffalo head-dress with clout and medicine necklace of antelope hoofs.  He is armed with club and gun.  This depicts an incident of a war party against the Crows.  They clubbed eight of the enemy.  The rifle was not used as it is still upon his shoulder.  The squaw was captured.  There were three lodges in the enemy camp and they took the scalps of all the men.  Red Fish is seen making a stroke coup upon at least one of them.  There is some dispute about this incident.  Some old men say that he killed them all alone.  The pictograph so indicates as his stroke covers all of them.  Others tell me he did not do all of the killing but that other men were with him.  Red Fish claims that he was alone in this fight and counted coup eight times. Once in a fight with the enemy, another Sioux was unhorsed in the midst of the fighting.  His name was Shield Necklace, as depicted on his shield.  He was wounded but Red Fish went into the flying arrows as indicated and, after taking Shield Necklace upon his horse, escaped with him to safety. The feathers upon Shield Necklace’s head indicate that he was wounded with arrows, so I am told.  They are running swiftly as the backward flying arrows upon the shield indicate.  This took place a long time ago but it is often recounted in the circle of old men in the evening, as a very brave act of Red Fish.

Red Fish is here upon the war path against the Crows.  He is armed with a gun.  He shot a Crow enemy and the Crow ran a long distance as indicated by bloody foot prints.  But he was pursued by Red Fish upon his horse as indicated by the prints of the horse’s hoofs along the same trail as the bloody foot prints.  The three straight marks upon the leg of the Crow would indicate a pursuit or ‘use of the leg’ for three days.  Red Fish came upon him while still alive, as there is running blood; made first coup by stroke and took his scalp. June 8th, 1928, Mrs. Crow Ghost and Mrs. Iron Roads came to see me, and I took them to the house for dinner.  Mrs. Crow Ghost brought me an old trade tomahawk and a red stone pipe.   They also told me that Red Fish was buried yesterday.  I knew he was sick for his daughter, Mrs. Eva Little Chief, wrote me to that effect a few days ago, and I had then send him some meat for soup.  One of his wives was named Tatiopa Dutawin (Red Lodge Woman) and she is the mother of Eva Little Chief. Visit by prominent Dakotahs, Chief Red Fish, Basil Two Bears, Jerome Cottonwood, Feb. 9th, 1923: Chief Red Fish (Yanktonaise), Basil Two Bears (grandson of Yanktonaise Chief Two Bears), Jerome Cottonwood (son of Chief Cottonwood)…all of Cannon Ball They were on their way to Fort Peck, Montana, to talk over Waanata Earth Dish.  Old Red Fish says: “The high hill south of the flat lake, north of Steele, N.D., is called by us Canpakmiyan Iyeyapi (Finding Wagon).  We found a wagon there once so we call it that way.”  He said that this hill was right on the old trail from Yates and vicinity to Devils Lake Country. “The River (James River) is called by us Can Sa-Sa; and it means that the wood there is reddish gray.” (Note: this is spelled sometimes Tchan-San-San, but is nothing but an effort to spell the Dakotah correctly.  Tchan  – Wood.  Correct spelling Can, the ‘C’ having the ch sound as in ‘chaw.’  San is correctly spelled Sa, the ‘S’ having a dot over it and sounded as ‘Shawl.’) “The place where the city of Jamestown is now, we called Itazipa Okakse  – meaning Cut Bows.  We called it that because we went ther to get wood to make bows with.”  (Note:  this means to ‘Cut a bow by striking.’) When I showed him pictures of the Arikara and Mandan villages, taken fifty years ago, he said:

“These are village people.  I went with a friendly number of visitors there one time long ago.  This is their Holy Tipi.  We went into that lodge.  They had a ceremony.  It was a medicine ceremony.  A woman covered with a white buffalo hide with horns on it.  The Medicine Man cut her arm off at the elbow with a knife and threw the arm and hand away,  on a pile of old buffalo feet and legs.  He covered her again and when he took the robe off, she had her arm again.  All right.  Then he shot another woman through her body.  Just above her hips.  The blood shot out of the two wounds and her nose and mouth.  She died then.  He breathed into her mouth.  The blood shot out again.  She got all right then.  He had a hot iron from a wagon.  He passed it clear through his head from one ear through the other.  It did not hurt him.  He chopped a man’s arm off against a post.  It did not hurt him.  He put it back on again.  He was a very Holy Man.  He talked with Spirits all the time.”

Hogan Duta,Chief Red Fish Lower Yanktonais Chief Red Fish had 21 lodges and 77 people under his care in the 1885 Ration list for Standing Rock.

Pecokaya (Crown of the Head);

Wasicun Maza (Iron White Man);

Zintkana Sapa (Black Bird);

Wahacanka Gi (Brown Shield);

Wanbdi Topa (Four Eagles);

Tasunke Inape (His Horse Appears);

Ota Kutepi (Shot at Many Times);

Sunka Wakan Yuha (He Owns a Horse);

Wasa (Vermillion);

Heraka Ho Waste (Good Voice Elk);

Marpiya Taninkiya (Appearing Cloud);

Atanin (Appearing);

Nape Rota win (Grey Hand Woman);

Anpetu Ska win (White Day Woman);

Cetan Ska (White Hawk);

Tatanka Oye Tokeca (Different Track Bull);

Tate Rota (Grey Wind);

Akta Katapi (Finishing Stroke);

Ocin Sica (Cross);

Hinhan Hoton Mani (Lowing Owl Walking);

Tunkan (Boulder);

Wamniomni (Whirlwind);


Red Fish
Hogan Duta b. 1844
1. Son Nakpaduta- born 1873
2. Daughter Hinbardayewin-She Shed hair born 1877
3. Son Ahinwakana-Chases born 1879
4. Son Hoganska-White Fish born 1884

Nakpaduta- 1831
Spouse: Winyan Waste b. 1836
Granddaughter: Tatiyopa- Her Door b. 1883

Chief Hogan Duta-Red Fish aka Mark Red Fish born 1844 died 6/8/1928
Spouse: Anpetu Snawin/Hanhepisnawin- Rattling Night Woman born 1847 died 5/8/1927
5. Son Nakpaduta- born 1873
6. Daughter Hinbardayewin-She Shed hair born 1877
7. Son Ahinwakana-Chases born 1879
8. Son Hoganska-White Fish born 1884

Hogan Duta born 1844
Spouse: Hanhepisnawin- Rattling Night Woman born 1847 died 5/8/1927
1. Son Ahinwakana-Chases born 1879
2. Daughter Hinbardayewin-She Shed hair/Ipardawin-Live born 1877

Mark Red Fish b. 1844
Spouse: Hanhepisnawin- Rattling Night Woman born 1847 died 5/8/1927
1. Son Ahinwakana-Chases born 1879
2. Daughter Hinbardayewin-She Shed hair/Ipardawin-Live born 1877
Spouse2#: Makpiyasniawin-Rattling Cloud born 1860
1. Daughter: Nakpawastewin-Pretty Ears b. 1880
2. Son Heblaska-Flat Horn b. 1884
3. Daughter : Cajeyatapi- Named b. 1889

Nakpaduta-Red Ears born 1832
Spouse: Winyan waste-Pretty Woman b.1836
1. Daughter: Tatiyopa-Her Door b.1883
Nakpaduta-Red Ears b. 1871
Spouse: Hat Woman b. 1865
1. Daughter: Mary Shell b. 1888
Mark Red Fish-d: born 1844 died 6/8/1928
Hanhepisnawin-Rattling Night Woman born 1847 died 5/8/1927
1. Daughter: Eva Red Fish
2. Son: Adolph Red Ears b.1873 d 11/12/1932

Robert Red Ear b. 6/18/1908
Adolph Red Ears b.1873 d 11/12/1932
Spouse: Taokmiziwin-Bessie Catch the Enemy b. 1864 d. 9/26/1925
Census 1895
Adolph Red Ears b. 1871
Spouse: Taokmiziwin-Bessie Catch The Enemy b. 1864 d. 9/26/1925
1. Son: Stands in Track b. 1892
2. Daughter: Walks b. 1894
Nakpaduta-Red Ears b. 1831
Spouse: Winyanwaste-Good Woman b. 1856
Phillip Red Ears b. 1893
Spouse: Sadie Long Chase
1. Daughter: Irene M. b. 8/27/1931
2. Daughter: Catherine b. 7/23/1933

Robert Red Ear b. 6/18/1888
1934 Census
James Red Fish b. 1873
Spouse: Louisa Brown otter
1. Son: William b. 1915
2. Son: Charles b. 5/21/1919


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