Hakikta Win’s Ancestor/Relative/Grandson of Chief Joseph White Bull passes to Otherside Camp.


 

Well-known Chief Bald Eagle dies at 97

Journal staff Updated Jul 28, 2016 3

HOWES | David Beautiful Bald Eagle Jr., for decades the face of South Dakota’s Lakota oyati (people) in state tourism promotions and at the Days of ’76 parade, died Friday at home in eastern Meade County at age 97.

Bald Eagle was born in a tipi in 1919. A grandson of Chief White Bull, who led a charge against Custer’s 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Greasy Grass (Little Bighorn), Bald Eagle followed the Lakota warrior defender tradition. He served on horses and as a skydiving paratrooper for the U.S. Army. He was among Native American code-talkers relaying important messages in their native language to foil WWII enemy radio monitors.

Back home, he became a champion Lakota dancer, rodeo cowboy, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe goodwill ambassador and a traditional chief of the Minicoujou band.

In his traditional tanned hide clothing and feathered regalia, horse rider Bald Eagle for nearly five decades led the Days of ’76 parade at Deadwood. He had ridden in the parade since he was age 10.

His presence drew photographers and movie-makers worldwide. His films included “Flaming Arrow” with Errol Flynn, the Oscar-winning “Dances with Wolves” and the newly released “Neither Wolf nor Dog.” His portrait graced last year’s National Geographic Traveler in Australia, said South Dakota Tourism senior photographer Chad Coppess.

“We worked with Dave on numerous photo shoots … he had a classic Native American look and was a bona fide real Indian chief, so it was doubly great,” Coppess said. “And he had experience in being in movies and knew what we (photographers) wanted, so he was great to work with.”

A traditional four-day wake began Monday. Traditional burial rites, including a pole scaffold for the body, will be conducted later this week, said Charlie Rooks of Rooks Funeral Home in Eagle Butte.

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Bald Eagle Lakota Chad Coppess David Beautiful Native American

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(3) comments
Arlo Blundt Jul 28, 2016 4:03pm

well….what’s often forgotten is the outstanding number of young Sioux men who volunteered for the service or if drafted, served in combat branches and saw combat…..whether in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam or in our present wars….it is young Indian men who are willing to step forward and to put their lives on the line for this country…as one of those combat veterans, Mr. Bald Eagle should be especially remembered, in this era when none (that’s right
zero) of the Presidential candidates of either major party were combat veterans or veterans for that matter….thank you…Arlo
Ducati Guy Jul 28, 2016 3:18pm

So long Chief, I hope you and your friend Louie are sitting on that bench over the Cheyenne, talking about the old days.
Pookdad Jul 26, 2016 10:16am

He lived an extraordinary life, and he will be missed. I am grateful to have met him several times and listened to his stories. He was the real deal and an American hero and icon.
Welcome to the discussion.

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About Looking Back Woman-Suzanne Dupree

Tetuwan Lakota scholar, educator, historian, Sun Dance participant, Cannunpa carrier, cultural & spiritual preservationist, journalist-writer and fraud investigator.
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