Sacred Texts  Native American  Plains  Index  Previous  Next 


At the time of his death Sword was writing an autobiography from which the following has been translated.

When I believed the Oglala Wakan Tanka was right I served him with all my powers. I became a Wicasa Wakan (Shaman) and conducted all the ceremonies of the Lakota, even the Sun dance, which is the greatest ceremony of the Oglala. I danced the Sun dance to become a Shaman and because of the scars on my chest no Oglala will deny my word. I was a pejuta wicasa (medicineman) and belonged to the Matopi (Bears, a cult or society of medicinemen) and the Bears have all the ceremonies of other medicinemen and much more. I was a Blotaunka (leader of war parties) and have fought according to Lakota customs against the enemy, both Indians and white people, so I know all the customs of war that the Oglala practised. I was Wakiconze (civil magistrate) and thus know all the customs of the Oglala. I was eligible to chieftainship. In war with the white people I found their Wakan Tanka the Superior, I then took the name of Sword and have served Wakan Tanka according to the white people's manner and with all my power. I became the chief of the United States Indian Police and held the office until there was no trouble between the Oglala and the white people. I joined the church and am a deacon in it and shall be until I die. I have done all I was able to do to persuade my people to live according to the teachings of the Christian ministers.

I still have my Wasicun (ceremonial pouch or bundle of a Shaman) and I am afraid to offend it, because the spirit of an Oglala may go to the spirit land of the Lakota.

Next: The Number Four