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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
South Shore in Codington County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Punished Woman's Lake

Legend of

 
 
Punished Woman's Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 20, 2016
1. Punished Woman's Lake Marker
Inscription.

During the Moon of the Harvest (August) in 1773 a band of Sioux were camped on the shore of this lake. We-Wa-Ke, fairest maiden in the camp had given her heart to a brave young warrior, Big Eagle, whose courage on the hunt and in battle far surpassed that of the other young men of the tribe.

When he approached their lodge with gifts and a desire to have the maiden as his wife, Big Eagle was refused by We-Wa-Ke's father. The father instead accepted the gifts of a 60 year old chief, White Tail Wolf.

While the tribe was celebrating this union, We-Wa-Ke and her warrior lover tried to escape on his pony. Pursued by other warriors in the tribe the pair was quickly caught and returned to this hill overlooking the lake. Here the chagrined old chief saw the lovers proudly raise their heads and declare their love for each other and vowed to meet in the Happy Hunting Grounds. The old chief was so angry that he killed the young warrior with his knife.

The young maiden was ordered bound to a tree on the shore of the lake and the old chief shot an arrow into her heart. He then ordered the lovers buried side by side on this hill overlooking the lake. He ordered stones to be placed in the form of a warrior and a maid as a shameful reminder to all Indians.

As the old chief called for the Evil Spirits
Punished Woman's Lake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, September 20, 2016
2. Punished Woman's Lake Marker
to take them to the Land of Ever-Lasting Sorrow the Great Spirit heard him and caused a lightning bolt to flash from the clear blue sky and strike the old chief dead. The band piled stones on the chief's body to remind all that he was a murderer and outcast from the tribe.

From that time on the lake was known as "Punished Woman's Lake."
 
Erected 1973 by South Shore Commercial Club, S.D. Department of Highways and the S.D. State Historical Society.
 
Location. 45° 6.336′ N, 96° 56.407′ W. Marker is in South Shore, South Dakota, in Codington County. Marker is on State Highway 20 one mile east of 462nd Ave., on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 354 SD-20, South Shore SD 57263, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old M. & ST. L. Depot Museum (approx. 16.4 miles away).
 
Categories. Native AmericansWomen
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 5, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 86 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 5, 2017, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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