Dakota leader who participated in the negotiation and signing of the 1851 and 1858 treaties in Washington, D. C.
The US-Dakota Treaty of 1858 ceded the reservation land on the north side of the Minnesota River to the US government. Eventually, many circumstances would contribute to the outbreak of the US-Dakota War on August 18, 1862.
Mazomani was a friend of the whites and was at the Battle of Wood Lake, led by Chief Little Crow. During the battle between Little Crow's band and the US Army, he held a flag of truce. As he ran toward the Army's lines, he was hit by a cannonball, which severed his leg. He died several days later. His daughter, Maza Okiye Win (Woman Who Talks To Iron), only 10 years of age at the time, was with him when he died. He was buried on a ridge on land that is now part of the Upper Sioux Agency State Park.
The city of Mazomanie, Wisconsin, was named after him.
The historical marker erected on the ridge where he was buried states the following:
"On this ridge is located the grave of Mazomani, a leader of the Wahpetonwan (Dwellers in the Leaves) Dakota, who died of injuries he received on September 23, 1862, at the Battle of Wood Lake during the Dakota (Sioux) War.
Mazomani (Iron Walker) was among the Dakota leaders who went to Washington, D. C. in 1858 to negotiate a treaty selling half of the Minnesota River Valley reservation. Throughout the course of the tragic 1862 war, he tried repeatedly to make peace between Dakotas and whites and to protect those Dakota who had chosen to remain at peace from those who tried to force them to fight. According to Dakota oral traditions, he was wounded by white soldiers while carrying a flag of truce as he tried to enter their camp to arrange for the release of captives. His friends and followers carried him from the battlefield to a camp near here, where he died early the following morning after embracing his wife and daughter and telling them, "I love you very much, but I am going to leave you now."
Mazomani's daughter, Mazaokiyewin (Woman who Talks to Iron), was among the many Dakota forced into exile at Crow Creek on the Missouri River following the 1862 war. She eventually returned to this region where she was known as Isabel Roberts and was a leading member of the Dakota community. Many of her descendants still live in the area today."
Anderson, Gary Clayton and Woolworth, Alan R. "Through Dakota Eyes," p. 258-259.
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