Gender Roles

Male Activities, Rights of Passage, Responsibilities, General Information

When young males reached puberty, the uncles and other older male relatives guided and helped them.  They would take them hunting and teach them the meanings of what it is to be a man.  Traditionally, when boys grew older, women no longer raised them.  Men were the hunters and men would never abuse anyone weaker then themselves.  Men always respected the women and would come to their defense in time of need.  If a man abused women or children, others shunned them.

Today, to honor the past, there is a horse ride to honor all the Chiefs of the Great Sioux Nation.  This annual ride is called the “Chiefs’ Ride”.  During this ride the older men teach the younger men how to attain the qualities of a warrior for their family, community, and the Tribe. During the ride, the older men share oral histories about the great warriors and chiefs so these stories will be passed on from generation to generation.


Female Activities, Rights of Passage, Responsibilities, General Information

For some families, when a young woman experiences her first menstrual cycle, it is considered a special time in her life.  It is a special time signifying that the young girl becomes a woman.  The older women in her family take her aside and share what it means to become a woman.  They teach the young girl how to sew and cook.  When a young women is menstruating, she is taught to show respect for herself by:



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