Nobody talked openly about the "Suicide Boys'' until almost 90 years after the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
American Indian accounts written down immediately after the fight on June 25, 1876, or years later when the warriors were old men, do not mention four Cheyenne and about 20 Sioux warriors who vowed to fight to the death in the next battle with U.S. troops.
Maybe the suicide vow was too sacred to be shared with outsiders while the battle was still so fresh, speculated John Doerner, chief historian at Little Bighorn Battlefield.
On June 24, 1876, some of the Sioux announced that they would take the suicide vow. A dance was arranged that night to honor them. The ritual, which the Northern Cheyenne believed originated with them, was called the "Dying Dancing."
"This meant that they were throwing their lives away,'' Stands In Timber recounted. "In the next battle, they would fight until they were killed.''
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