Princess Owatonna's statue is pictured - who's the legend of the city of Owatonna.
|The Dakota Sioux tribe named the state I live in, ‘Minnesota,’ which means “sky-tinted water." A town near where I live has a statue of Princess Owatonna, daughter of Sioux Indian Chief Wabena, who still stands proudly near Maple Creek, located in Owatonna's Mineral Springs Park. The legend goes drinking its natural spring water saved her life when she arrived, frail, in need of help.
There’s a river nearby where they camped for the night, and gave it the name, Ouitunya, which means straight. This shows the Dakota's sense of humor, because when kayaking down the Straight River, you’ll find it's not straight, but has many twists and turns.
The Ojibwe tribe, also called Chippewa, came to Minnesota in 1837. They named some of our rivers, towns, and Lakes, too. We have a Rice County, Rice Lake, Rice River, and Rice Creek. Rice is an Ojibwe word which has many meanings to them. Rice is a verb they use in abundance.
Throughout the years, the Ojibwe (Chippewa) and Dakota Sioux had an uneasy co-existence in the territory that became Minnesota. Their famous battle became known as Battle of Shakopee, 1858. Later on, Chippewa/Ojibway took over the Northern part while the Dakota/Sioux moved to the Southern part of Minnesota. 1
The Cherokee stomp dance was usually around a fire - which they considered sacred. "Their dances had both a religious and social meaning - their way of praying, taking medicine, going to the river for ritual cleansing and smoking the ceremonial pipe." 2
Minnesota's other tribe, the Dakota Sioux's dances played a role in religious rituals and other ceremonies held to guarantee successful hunts, and abundant harvests.
Dakota Sioux used buffalo skin to make art designs to tell stories with pictures of the tribe. Looking at the images, I'm amazed at the clarity of their designs. The Ojibway artists made beautiful bead work, loving the floral designs. Other crafts included birch bark boxes, baskets, and dream-catchers.
The quarries of Pipestone, MN became a prized possession of the Dakota Sioux, which they simply named iyansha K'api or “the place where one digs the red rock.” It contains Catlinite, which is quite rare and brownish red in color. It's easy to mold, and perfect for their sacred art of traditional pipe-making.3
I have visited Minnesota museums and other heritage sites where you can learn about these two tribes experiences. Here are a few other great places - Jeffers Petroglyphs in Comfrey - home to more than five-thousand sacred rock carvings, Lower Sioux Agency near Morton, Mille Lacs Indian Museum & Trading Post near Onamia, Traverse des Sioux in St. Peter, Snake River Fur Post in Pine City, and Fort Snelling in St. Paul.