How to say dances with wolves in sioux

Dances with Wolves - Is there really a Native American Indian Connection

Learn the Native American connection with Dances with wolves, starring Kevin Costner.

Many of the supposedly Indian names, such as the one made popular by Kevin Costner in the movie, Dances with Wolves, does not have the meaning that most people think it does. His name, Steve, was not translated into “Dances with Wolves” but the Indian name Sunkmanitu Tanka Owaci can be translated to Dances with Wolves. There are some cases where the name actually has a real Native American origin, but many are given a fanciful and thoroughly incorrect 'translation' that somebody thought would appeal to parents choosing a name for their child.

In other cases the names were invented by white authors or television writers.  For works of fiction, especially old Westerns and romance novels, their fictional meanings have been faithfully repeated as fact, when they really are fiction. Others use place names that really have no meaning.

There have also been honest mistranslations--word order is different from English in many languages, so an English speaker looking at an Indian phrase may unwittingly pick out a word and mistake it for another. 

Sometimes baby name book authors make up these names to sound exotic, but they are deliberate lies. The origins of others may never be known--if they once came from an Indian name or word, they have been too corrupted over time to be easily recognized any longer. Some names that are reputed to have a Native American meaning are always open to question. If the supposed meaning of a name is false, that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't have Indian origins at all--it could have just acquired a false 'translation' at some point. There were around 300 Native American languages spoken in North America before Columbus arrived, after all, and only half of these are still spoken today. So it is impossible to say for sure that any name definitely does not have any Indian origins. Only that it does not mean what it is claimed to.

Dances with Wolves, a 1990 American Western film starring directed and produced by Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake that tells the story of a Union Army lieutenant who travels to the American frontier to find a military post, and of his dealings with a group of Lakota Indians. Dances with Wolves won 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. Much of the dialogue is spoken in Lakota with English subtitles.

In 2007, Dances with Wolves was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

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18 Epic Facts About ‘Dances With Wolves’

The prevailing logic in Hollywood 25 years ago was that Westerns, while long on history and sometimes successful, were not a genre moviegoers were clamoring to see. Any filmmaker who did get the green light would need to keep the project within budget, under two hours, and, of course, keep all the dialogue in English. Dances With Wolves defied all of that.

Directed by and starring Kevin Costner, the 1990 epic about a disillusioned Civil War lieutenant who travels west and befriends a tribe of Sioux Indians clocked in at three hours long, came in millions of dollars over budget, and included a cast full of unknown Native American actors speaking a language most audiences had never heard. In the end, the film—“a journey movie,” as Costner has called it—won seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and grossed more than $400 million. On the 25th anniversary of its release, here are a few things you might not know about Dances With Wolves.


Inspired by books he’d read about the Plains Indians, screenwriter Michael Blake (who died earlier this year) pitched Costner on the idea for Dances with Wolves. Costner told Blake, whom he’d met in a Los Angeles acting class, to write a novel instead of a screenplay, reasoning that a novel could generate studio interest more effectively than a cold script. So Blake spent months writing and sleeping on friends’s couches (including Costner’s). “I wrote the entire book in my car, really,” Blake said in a behind-the-scenes feature. Once finished, Blake submitted Dances with Wolves, to numerous publishers, all of whom passed on his manuscript. Finally, after more than 30 rejections, a small publisher called Fawcett accepted it.  


Turned down by American studios, Costner looked abroad for help, eventually securing startup funds from a handful of foreign investors. With only a fraction of the movie’s $15 million budget secured, he began filming. Orion Pictures eventually stepped in with $10 million, but Dances with Wolves ended up going more than $3 million over budget. Costner covered the overage out of his own pocket.


Before Blake began working on Dances with Wolves, Costner tried to get work for his friend by arranging numerous interviews with studio representatives. But as Costner told Tim Ferriss on a recent podcast, Blake spoiled every opportunity by arguing with the reps. “I really started to lose patience with him,” Costner said. The two became increasingly at odds, culminating in a physical confrontation that had Costner pinning Blake against a wall. “I said, ‘Quit pretending you want to be in Hollywood,’” Costner told Ferriss.

Blake stayed with Costner while writing Dances with Wolves, all the while pestering Costner to read his work in progress. Costner refused, and Blake quickly wore out his welcome. He eventually moved down to Arizona, where he washed dishes at a Chinese restaurant for $3.35 an hour. He called Costner asking for money, so Costner mailed him a sleeping bag and a portable stove. Blake pestered Costner again to read the book, which he’d since finished. After months of refusing, Costner finally gave in and was stunned. “It was the clearest idea for a movie that I’d ever read,” Costner recounted.


After deciding to go ahead with the project, Costner gave the script to three prominent directors (he won’t name names, unfortunately), hoping that one of them would be a good fit. But each of them had parts they wanted to cut that Costner considered crucial. “Some wanted to get rid of the opening Civil War sequence,” Costner told Tim Ferriss. “Some thought it was too long. Somebody thought it shouldn’t be a white [love interest], that that would be cliché.” So the actor decided to step in and do the job himself.


More than a quarter of Blake’s script had to be translated into the Sioux Lakota dialect. This was admirable, considering most Westerns made Native American actors spout their lines in English. But there was one problem: Few people could speak Lakota, much less translate it. Costner heard about a teacher at South Dakota’s Sinte Gleska University named Doris Leader Charge, who taught the Lakota language and culture. He sent the script to her and got it back three weeks later, fully translated.

“I’d never even seen a script before then,” the then-60-year-old teacher said in the behind-the-scenes feature. Since none of the actors spoke Lakota, Costner brought Leader Charge onto the set for further guidance and even offered her a speaking role as Pretty Shield, the wife of Ten Bears. Leader Charge initially declined, saying she needed to return to work. So Costner called up the president of the college and got her stay extended.


In addition to filming at more than 30 locations throughout South Dakota and Wyoming, the shooting script called for 3500 buffalo, three dozen teepees, 300 horses, two wolves, and a small army of Native American extras. Add in budget headaches and complications with the weather, which ranged from 20 degrees to over 100 degrees across the July-to-November shoot, and it’s a wonder the film got made at all.


There were no trick shots or CGI wizardry behind the film’s centerpiece: That really is a herd of 3500 buffalo storming across the prairie. The crew got only one shot at filming the stampede each day, since the animals had to first be rounded up and then, once they started running, would go for miles before stopping. “The trucks began herding the buffalo at five o’clock in the morning in hopes that they would be in position by 11,” producer Jim Wilson told Entertainment Weekly. Capturing the sequence took eight days and involved 20 wranglers, a helicopter, and 10 pickup trucks with mounted cameras.


Filming required a few domesticated buffalo for close-up shots. So the crew turned to singer Neil Young, who loaned them “Mammoth,” and to a South Dakota meat manufacturer, whose mascot “Cody” played the buffalo that charged a young brave who had fallen off his horse. To get Cody to run at the camera, his handler enticed him with his favorite treat: Oreos. “You could be 100 yards away, pull out an Oreo, and he’d take off like a bullet straight for you,” Wilson told Entertainment Weekly.


Wilson estimates that Costner did 95 percent of his own riding, shooting, fighting and wolf-dancing in the film. All of which was impressive, but also kept the crew on edge. During the buffalo hunt sequence, a rider veered in front of Costner’s horse, throwing the star from his mount. “I was in the copter and all I heard was ‘Kevin’s down, Kevin’s down,’” Wilson recounted. While the crew held their breath, the star got up, dusted himself off, and hopped on his stunt double’s horse to finish the scene.


The crew employed two wolves—Buck and Teddy—to play Two Socks, the wolf that Costner’s Dunbar befriends. But even with trainers, so called “trained” wolves are notoriously temperamental. Lots of patience and meat scraps were required to get Buck and Teddy to cooperate. The filmmakers weren’t above humiliating themselves to get the shots they needed, either. Behind-the-scenes footage shows Wilson and Costner trying to get the wolves to howl by belting out their own calls of the wild.


Going against the trend of pairing a leading man with a much younger love interest, Costner said he wanted a mature, more experienced actress to play Stands With a Fist, the white woman adopted by the Sioux tribe as a child who helps John Dunbar integrate with her people, and eventually falls in love with him. They handed the role to Mary McDonnell, a then-37-year-old stage actress who learned her Lakota lines quickly and deftly handled her character’s re-learning English. Her performance garnered an Oscar nomination—plus lots of compliments about her wind-blown hair.


Hollywood insiders smelled blood after hearing about the film’s production difficulties. Some called the risky bet  “Costner’s Last Stand,” while others dubbed it “Kevin’s Gate,” in reference to Michael Cimino’s wildly over-budget Western flop Heaven’s Gate. In the end, they were all humbled by the film’s nearly $425 million box office haul.


Part of Dances With Wolves’ success was due to its appeal to both male and female moviegoers. To stoke interest, Orion took a unique step at the time by cutting separate trailers and print ads that played up different aspects of the film. The female-focused marketing played up the movie’s love story, while the male-focused campaign emphasized the gun-slinging, Wild West elements of the film.


Over the course of six months in wide release, Dances with Wolves took in $184 million domestically, rocketing it past Young Guns, Silverado, and other Westerns to become the highest grossing film in the genre. Twenty-five years later, it’s still at the top of the chart, just ahead of 2010’s True Grit. Interestingly, in all its weeks in theaters, Dances With Wolves never topped the box office charts.


The company that distributed RoboCop, Platoon, and Caddyshack rolled out a string of poor performers in the late 1980s. By the time Dances With Wolves came to theaters, Orion’s stock was down 50 percent and the company was $500 million in debt. “We needed a hit,” David Forbes, Orion’s president of marketing and distribution, told Entertainment Weekly. Unfortunately, not even the combined success of Dances with Wolves and Silence of the Lambs (which came out the following year) was enough to recoup Orion’s losses. A year later, the company filed for bankruptcy, emerging briefly in the mid-1990s before MGM bought it. In 2014, MGM released The Town That Dreaded Sundown under the Orion label.


More than a few reviewers wrote that the film was overly sentimental and romanticized the lives of the Sioux Indians. David Sirota, writing for Salon, recently called Dances With Wolves an example of a “white savior film” that tells a familiar story about a white hero who swoops in to save a helpless tribe from destruction. Native American actor and activist Russell Means, meanwhile, called the film Lawrence of the Plains, meant as a derogatory reference to Lawrence of Arabia, and pointed out that the film’s Lakota dialect is almost all wrong. “The odd thing about making that movie is, they had a woman teaching the actors the Lakota language,” Means told High Times. “But Lakota has a male-gendered language and a female-gendered language. Some of the Indians and Kevin Costner were speaking in the feminine way. When I went to see it with a bunch of Lakota guys, we were laughing.”


Criticism aside, the Sioux were pleased with a portrayal that focused on the peaceful, day-to-day life of their tribe. So they honored Costner with official membership. The induction ceremony included tying an eagle feather in his hair and giving him a hand-woven quilt. A few years later, though, Costner lost some of those good vibes when he bought several hundred acres in South Dakota’s Black Hills—a land considered sacred by the Sioux—and announced plans to build a resort. Development proved difficult, however, and Costner finally abandoned the plan in 2013.


A sequel to the book, that is. In 2001, Blake published The Holy Road, which continues the story of John Dunbar, now a full-fledged Sioux warrior, as he tries to protect his tribe from encroachment by white settlers. Critics praised the novel for the ways it portrayed westward expansion and the plight of Native Americans without coming off heavy-handed. There have been rumblings about a possible miniseries, but nothing is confirmed at this time.

Dances with Wolves.: mihail1704 - LiveJournal


- What's the point of talking to Americans? They are all liars, and no matter what they say, they cannot be trusted,” Sitting Bull, the leader of the Sioux Indian tribe, once said.

In the late autumn of 1877, in the Canadian Fort Walsh near the border with the United States, General Alfred Terry arrived from Washington for negotiations. For America at the time, Sitting Bull was "terrorist number one. " With weapons in his hands, he defended for his people the right to live on the land of their ancestors according to the laws that were long before the arrival of the pale-faced people there. And now he had to go to Canada, under the care of the British Queen Victoria. The general was tasked with bringing Sitting Bull back to the US to keep him under control on the reservation. The meeting took place under the supervision of the Canadian Mounted Police. The leader gave the floor to a woman from his tribe.

- I'm from your country, - she said to Terry, - and I wanted to raise my children there, but because of you I didn't have time. Now I went to this country to raise children and live in peace for a little while. That's all I wanted to tell you. I want you to go where you came from.

Terry came back with nothing. Canadian government officials explained to the fugitives that here everyone, regardless of skin color, is equally subject to the laws. You can't fight other tribes, steal horses, use Canada as a military camp to attack the Americans. The Sitting Bull agreed to everything - they say, he buried the ax of war in his homeland.


At 14 he received his first "ku" - he touched a living enemy in an open battle. After such a baptism, the Indian had the right to insert an eagle feather into his hair. At 22, he visited the Santee reservation in Minnesota for the first time. Of the 1300 Indians who submitted to the will of the whites and moved to the territory allotted to them, less than 300 survived the winter. Sitting Bull then decided to the last to oppose the advance of the whites on the lands of his people.

At first, the US government did not claim them - the Black Hills mountain range in South Dakota was not considered suitable for something useful. But to the Sioux, the Black Hills were the sacred center of the earth. In 1868 the government signed a treaty out of the Sioux, by which "no person or person of the white race is allowed to settle or occupy any part of this territory, or pass through it without the consent of the Indians. " But in 1874, the expedition of General George Custer found gold in these parts. The influx of white settlers began.

The government tried to negotiate the sale of the territory with the leaders Red Cloud and Spotted Tail. In June 1875 they visited Washington. They were offered $6 million - the current $274 million. The leaders demanded ten times more. Motivated like this:

- Our Big Father - that is, the President of the United States - has a big safe, and we have a big safe. This hill is our safe. We want $60 million for the Black Hills. Put this money in some bank, so that with the interest we can buy cattle. That's what white people usually do.

Washington decided to solve the problem in the usual way. Messengers were sent to the Sioux winter camps with the message that everyone should arrive on the reservation before the end of January 1876, otherwise they would be considered hostile tribes. The Indians didn't budge. Then a punitive expedition was thrown against them. She simply exterminated the settlements and all their inhabitants. More and more tribes came to Sitting Bull's camp to seek salvation. During the full moon in June, the Sioux had their annual sun dance. Sitting Bull danced for three days, inflicted bloody wounds on himself and looked at the sun until he lost consciousness. Rising, he turned to his people. In his vision, there were soldiers falling on him from the sky like locusts.

- The big spirit gives us whites for destruction, - Sitting Bull explained this.


His most famous victory over the American army took place on June 25, 1876 on the Little Bighorn River. George Custer's force numbered 670 men. The scouts warned the general that he would have to fight against two thousand Indians. But Custer did not pay attention to this: he was going to run for the presidency of the United States, he needed this victory. Before the battle, the general often took a drink and was drunk before the start of the battle. The battle ended with the death of 266 American horsemen and commander. Neither before nor since did the Indians inflict a more crushing defeat on the US Army. Indian losses - 35 soldiers killed and 80 wounded. According to the Indian Rain on His Face, to exterminate the soldiers "was like killing sheep." When the news of Custer's defeat and death became known in Washington, Congress decided to increase the size of the army and still force the Indians to abandon the Black Hills. To save his people from destruction by cannon fire and starvation, Sitting Bull led him to Canada.

However, from the very beginning, the British Queen's government viewed Sitting Bull as a potential troublemaker. The reduction in the number of bison in Canada due to the presence of five thousand Sioux caused dissatisfaction with the local tribes - they were threatened with starvation. Sitting Bull asked the Canadians to provide his people with a reservation where they could freely hunt without entering someone else's territory. But each time he was told that he was not a British subject and had no right to land. American exiles had nothing to live from. In the harsh winter of 1880-1881, many of their horses froze to death. And with the coming of spring, the Sioux Indians set out on foot south to the United States. During the summer, Sitting Bull arrived at the American frontier fort. The leader was wearing an old cotton shirt, a pair of worn shoes, and a dirty blanket.

"I want posterity to remember that I was the last in the tribe to lay down my arms," ​​he said, giving the officer his old broken hard drive.

Due to hunger and poverty, he joined a circus show. Traveled with him throughout the United States and Canada. Huge crowds gathered to look at the leader. Sitting Bull distributed almost all the money to ragged and hungry boys, who were always near him, wherever he appeared.

- I can't understand why white people are so inconsiderate of their poor. The white man knows how to create everything, but he does not know how to dispose of it all, he said.

When the tour ended, he returned to his reservation. Brought a white circus horse. She knew how to sit down and raise her hoof at the sound of a shot.

"Oscars" received in 1990 the film "Dances with Wolves" about the first in the XIX century. clashes between the Sioux and the Palefaces. He brought $ 425 million to its creators. Hollywood star Kevin Costner, who was the director and starring, the Indians presented a hand-woven blanket. A sacred eagle feather was woven into his hair - he became an honorary member of the tribe. Two years later bulldozers began to roar on the saints for every Sioux in the Black Hills. Here they began to build an entertainment complex "Dunbar" with a casino, boutiques, a restaurant and a hotel with 320 seats. Kevin Costner became the customer and owner of it. Author: Ivan STOLYARCHUK
There was no British queen. The world was taken over by Elston's Army and in every corner its laws were established and its requirements were carried out under the threat of death. But not everyone gave up.

Dances with Wolves (1990)

Feature film (Oscar and Golden Globe awards).

Another name: " Dances with Wolves " (variant translation of the title).


Running time 181 minutes (extended cut 224 minutes, director's cut 236 minutes).

Directed by Kevin Costner (Oscar and Golden Globe Awards).

Written by Michael Blake (Oscar and Golden Globe Awards) based on the novel by Michael Blake.

Composer John Barry (Oscar and Golden Globe nomination).

Cinematographer Dean Semler (Oscar Award).

Also Oscars: Russell Williams II, Jeffrey Perkins, Bill W. Benton, Gregory H. Watkins (sound), Neil Travis (editing).

Oscar nominations: Geoffrey Beecroft, Lisa Dean (production designer), Elsa Zamparelli (costume designer).

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western

In the midst of the Civil War, Confederate Army Lieutenant John J. a remote fort located in the Dakota state, on the border with Indian lands. Upon arrival, Dunbar finds that the troops have left the outpost, but decides to stay and serve. Gradually, John makes friends with wolves, and then with the Sioux Indians, studies the culture and customs of the locals, and finally becomes one of them, having received the name Dances with Wolves. He falls in love with Standing with a Fist (Mary McDonnell, Oscar and Golden Globe nominations), a white woman who has lived in a tribe since childhood. But now the regular army is approaching, and Dunbar has to make a decisive choice.

Also starring: Graham Greene (Breaking Bird, Oscar nominated), Rodney Grant (Wind in His Hair), Floyd "Red Raven" Westerman (Chief Ten Bears), Michael Spears (Otter), Tantu Cardinal (Black Cape), Jimmy Herman (Stone Calf), Nathan Lee Chase Horse (Smiling A Lot), Wes Studi (Pawnee Chief), Robert Pastorelli (Timmons Timmons), Larry Joshua (Sergeant Bauer), Maury Chaykin (Major Fumbro), in episode Bill Costner (Confederate soldier, uncredited). 957/, hinting at the undoubted plot-thematic roll call. All of the above, however, in no way belittles the high artistic merits of the debut production of a recognized actor who supported Michael Blake, who had been trying to implement the script since the early 1980s, convincing the screenwriter first to write and publish a novel. Contrary to malice, Costner made the right decision, investing in the project almost all (which amounted to a little less than half of the impressive budget of $ 19 million) personal savings. There is justice in the fact that it was "Dances with Wolves" that broke 1 the previous records set by westerns, and received unconditional recognition from the members of the American Film Academy, for the first time (!) in 60 years, they celebrated the main Oscar for an example of this genre.

Meeting with fate

Plunging with his character into the bosom of a foreign culture, Kevin Costner does not just call to admire the simplicity, sincerity, spiritual breadth of the Indians. The open ending turns into a true feast, making it clear that ahead are years of difficult trials that, unfortunately, few are destined to survive. At the same time, it is difficult not to pay attention to the fact that Dunbar himself is at the center of the story - a typical, albeit outstanding personal qualities, a representative of the West, who is at a crossroads, not seeing the possibility of finding himself. However, unlike Major Fambrow 2 , who finds no other solution to his life crisis, except to shoot himself, the lieutenant gets a second chance. Immersion in the way of life of the Indians, considered by most whites to be savages and barbarians, just allows you to overcome the destructive, soul-eating individualism. The main difference is not cruelty at all, because, as John emphasizes, his fellow tribesmen are sometimes forced to resort to no less harsh methods. Having become Dances with Wolves, Dunbar returns to the roots, rediscovering the meaning of human existence - in unison with the existence of other people, the entire community and the surrounding nature as a whole. Not surprisingly, for many this sounded like a genuine revelation.


1 - North American box office gross of $184.2 million for a total of $424 million.
2 - Maury Chaikin did a brilliant job, but it's still a pity that Kevin couldn't be persuaded to embody the expressive image of Marlon Brando.

Note: the review was first published on the World Art website

Materials about the film:
Dances with Wolves // Video-Ass Premier. -1991, No. 1. - S. 2-3.
Sudnikova Irina. Purely male crying // Video-Ass Express. -1991, No. 7. - S. 24-27.
Samsonov Georgy. Kevin Costner - actor and director // Video-Ass Express. - 1991, No. 7. - P. 23.
Affairs of the Heart // Video-Ass Express. - 1991, No. 9. - S. 22-23.
Video club // Coeval. - 1991, No.

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