Lone Horn

Lone Horn
Lone Horn

Painting from George Catlin of the Honorable Chief Ha-wón-je-tah, 1832
Reign 1823-1875
Born November 16, 1790(1790-11-16)
Died October 15, 1875(1875-10-15) (aged 84)
Place of death Cheyenne River
Successor Chief Spotted Elk (later known as Chief Big Foot)
Father Black Buffalo
Mother White Cow Woman

Lone Horn, (Lakota: Heh-won-ge-chat or Ha-wón-je-tah, (November 16, 1790 - October 15, 1875), born in present-day South Dakota), was chief to the Minneconjou Teton Lakota. He was father to Spotted Elk (later known as Big Foot) and uncle to Touch the Clouds, Roman Nose and Frog. He was uncle of Crazy Horse.[1] He participated in the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. "Heh-won-ge-chat, his x mark, Lone Horn" [2] Chief Lone Horn was a nephew to the old Chief Smoke (1774–1864), his maternal uncle.

Lone Horn died at Bear Butte in 1875 when he was killed by a bull buffalo he had run down. After Lone Horn's death, his brother Lone Horn adopted Spotted Elk (later known as Chief Bigfoot.) He eventually became chief of the Minneconjou. He was killed along with his people at the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.

George Catlin paints Lone Horn

In 1832, George Catlin painted Lone Horn, at Fort Pierre, South Dakota. Back East, Caitlin wrote this description of him:[3]

"[Lone Horn was] a middle-aged man, of middling stature, with a noble countenance, and a figure almost equaling the Apollo, and I painted his portrait. ... [He] has risen rapidly to the highest honours in the tribe, from his own extraordinary merits, even at so early an age. He told me he took the name of 'Lone Horn' (or shell) from a simple small shell that was hanging on his neck, which descended to him from his father, and which, he said, he valued more than anything he possessed; affording a striking instance of the living affection which these people often cherish for the dead. ... His costume was a very handsome one, and will have a place in my Indian Gallery by the side of his picture. It is made of elk skins beautifully dressed, and fringed with a profusion of porcupine quills and scalp-locks; and his hair, which is very long and profuse, divided into two parts, and lifted up and crossed, over the top of his head, with a simple tie, giving it somewhat the appearance of a Turkish turban.
"This extraordinary man, before he was raised to the dignity of chief, was the renowned of his tribe for his athletic achievements. In the chase he was foremost; he could run down a buffalo, which he often had done, on his own legs, and drive his arrow to the heart. He was the fleetest in the tribe; and in the races he had run, he had always taken the prize."

See also


  1. ^ "The Thin Elk/Steamboat Winter Count", Santa Fe Mission
  2. ^ Fort Laramie Treaty, Creighton.edu
  3. ^ Letters and notes on the manners, customs, and conditions of the North ... By George Catlin, Books.Google.com

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