Dakota: October, 1822: Hunkpapa Warrior
This poem is written about a Sioux Indian tribe that proudly describes their strength and achievements over the other tribes of their land. This particular warrior describes how they are the “strongest tribe of the Sioux” and “what bad things can be done against us”. The warrior is clearly proud of his tribe and feels that they are the strongest, however, he also states that “before dark, we ride along the high places or go deep in the long grass at the edge of our people and watch for enemies”. This use of irony by Rod Taylor helps draw a bigger picture to the poem; it depicts the confidence of the warrior, yet at the same time also depicts a form of fear. The irony of this poem is that the warrior can describe his tribe as being “the strongest of the Sioux” and be confident enough to say, “what bad things can be done against us”, yet still need to always be on the watch for enemies. This contributes to the overall meaning of the poem in that it depicts the mindset of a warrior. One who is brave and proud of his people, confident in their abilities, yet cautious and concerned about attacks from enemies.