Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2011


Means discusses the Oglala Lakota identity and cattle-raising on the Pine Ridge Reservation. For the Oglala Lakota, cattle represented an opportunity to maintain traditional culture and create a subsistence economy while adapting to reservation life. During the early reservation years, the Oglala herded their cattle communally, and all animals were branded with the Pine Ridge brand, the flying O. However, different ideas about the reservation's economic future lead to inequities between full-bloods and mixed-bloods that created deep and lasting divisions within Oglala culture. Bad Heart Bull, an Oglala who from 1890 to 1913 depicted an earlier period of tribal life, drew this Oglala cowboy and a steer bearing the flying O brand.

Publication Title

Montana; The Magazine of Western History


Copyright Montana Historical Society Autumn 2011