Home | Introduction | Links |  Message Boards | Tribal Circles | Photographers | Questions? | Search
Tribes of the Great Plains: Arapaho | Arikara | Cheyenne | Crow | Dakota | Lakota | Nakota | Osage | Ponca
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs:
Wasco | Tenino | Paiute




High Backbone
also known as Hump




There are 3 men who used the name Hump or High Backbone.

Hump I (1811-1870) was the son of the second wife of Black Buffalo. He was a step brother to Rattling Blanket who had a different mother but the same father. He was kola to Waglula. The families were very close and he helped Waglula win Rattling Blanket. For clarification, a kola was even closer than family and not a thing to be taken lightly as a mere friendship. Men who were kola had a commitment to each other above almost any other relationship in their lives. They would give their lives for each other in battle.

Hump I, who married into the Cheyenne had 4 children, 2 of which were High Backbone, who died at 18, and Hump II, who was a contemporary of Crazy Horse.

I think somewhere along the line the relationship between Hump I and Waglula (Crazy Horse I) was confused in white history with the relationship between Hump II and Crazy Horse II hence the stories of their very close friendship were born. But that's just my supposition. — CLW

The older Hump was the son of Black Buffalo and was born around 1811. His mother was Good Voice Woman. He was Old Man Crazy Horse's or Waglula's brother in law. He was Rattling Blanket Woman's half brother. He had a younger brother named High Backbone who was killed in his teens. He married four Cheyenne women (also a Crow woman for a fifth wife later). The Shoshone killed one of his wives. So he always had it in for the Shoshone. The Shoshone killed him when he challenged them on a cold, wet day. He had a son that was also named Hump. This is the younger Hump. The family refers to him as Hump II. Donavin Sprague, the Director of Education up at Crazy Horse Mountain, is a great grandson of Hump. This info comes from the family oral history and my putting on 100,000 miles on my car and countless miles on foot with family members pointing the way to check out all the sites important to family members of the Crazy Horse and Hump families. — Brock

Here's the younger Hump while a scout at Fort Keogh, shortly following his surrender:

By L.A. Huffman

Here he is somewhat later (1890s, maybe?):

— Grahame Wood

Hump 2 spent his life with his father's band, the Minikouju. His Mom was Cheyenne. I don't know her name. But he would spend time visiting with his Cheyenne relatives too. — Brock


©2008-2016 Diane Merkel & Dietmar Schulte-Möhring
All contributors retain the rights to their work.
Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written consent is prohibited.