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Afraid of Eagle
Wanbli Kokipapi
1828 - 1903

Brother: Broken Bear Rib

W ife: Bad Tempered
Child: Two Horse
Child: Pretty Pipe

Afraid of Eagle Wanbli Kokipapi (c. 1828-c. 1903). Hunkpapa: Broken Bear Rib's band (but with Kill Eagle’s camp at Little Bighorn). Also translated as Eagle Feared.

Interview with Captain R. E. Johnston, Sept. 18, 1876, in Lieut. Col. W. P. Carlin to Major G. D. Ruggles, dated Standing Rock Agency, Sept. __, 1876, Letters Received, Department of Dakota, RG 393, National Archives. Published in New York Herald, Sept. 24, 1876; reprinted in W. A. Graham, The Custer Myth: A Source Book of Custeriana (New York, NY: Bonanza Books, 1953), p. 56; Edward A. Milligan, High Noon on the Greasy Grass: The Story of the Little Bighorn by Indians Who Were There (Bottineau, ND: Bottineau Courant Print, 1972) p. 18.

Brother of the prominent Hunkpapa headman Broken Bear Rib and a member of his band, Afraid of Eagle was among twenty-six lodges that departed the Standing Rock Agency with Kill Eagle in April 1876 to go on a buffalo hunt. They spent the summer with the northern bands and were present at the Little Bighorn. The lodges with Kill Eagle returned to the agency that fall, surrendering their horses and firearms on September 15, 1876. When questioned by military officials, Afraid of Eagle avoided giving any details about the Little Bighorn. “I was with Kill Eagle,” he replied, “and what he tells you is just what I would tell you.”(1)

In early October 1876, over 100 Indians left the agency to return to the hostile camp, probably to avoid losing their horses and weapons to the army.(2) The fact that Afraid of Eagle’s name does not appear in the Standing Rock Agency issue record that December suggests that he was part of this exodus that fled north to join Sitting Bull in Canada. Afraid of Eagle apparently returned to the U. S. with Rain-in-the-Face’s band who surrendered at Fort Keogh in October 1880. After five months near that military post, the former “hostiles” were transported by steamboat to Fort Yates and then transferred the following month to the adjacent Standing Rock Agency. In the Sitting Bull Surrender Census for September 1881, Afraid of Eagle is listed in Rain in the Face’s band together with his wife, Bad Tempered, and their two children, Two Horse and Pretty Pipe, as well as two grandchildren.(3)

Soon after arriving at the Standing Rock Agency, Afraid of Eagle and his family left Rain-in-the-Face’s band. Rather than returning to his brother's camp, however, he joined High Eagle, another of the agency bands. He lived the remainder of his life at Standing Rock. His name disappears from the agency census records in 1903, suggesting that he died in late 1902 or early 1903.(4)

1. Afraid of Eagle interview.

2. Capt. R. E. Johnston to Smith, Nov. 9, 1876, Fort Yates, Letters Received, National Archives. Edward A. Milligan, Dakota Twilight: The Standing Rock Sioux, 1874-1890 (Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press, 1976) p. 80.

3. Sitting Bull Surrender Census, p. 181, National Archives Regional Branch, Kansas City (NA-KC).

4. Issue Lists, Standing Rock Agency, 1881, NA-KC. Standing Rock Agency census records, 1885:52; 1886:277; 1887:253; 1888:243; 1889:200; 1890:230; 1891:219; 1894:2560.

— Ephriam D. Dickson III


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