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Siouan(so͞o`ən), branch of Native American languages belonging to the Hokan-Siouan linguistic family, or stock, of North and Central America (including Mexico). See Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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a large family of languages spoken by many North American Indian tribes, which in the 17th and 18th centuries occupied an extensive area from the Mississippi River in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west and from the Saskatchewan River in the north to the Arkansas River in the south.
The Sioux tribes were divided into three linguistic groups: Chiwere (the Iowa, Oto, and Missouri tribes), Dhegiha (the Kansa, Quapaw, Omaha, Osage, and Ponca), and Mandan (the Winnebago, Dakota, Crow, Mandan, and Hidatsa). Before the discovery of North America by Europeans, the ancestors of the Sioux lived in the southeast of North America and were among the founders of an advanced agricultural culture. Today’s Sioux Indians, who number approximately 100,000 (1973, estimate), are scattered on reservations in the USA and Canada. Working for hire is their main source of livelihood. The Sioux are active participants in the American Indian national liberation movement. [23–1432–]