( Iromagaja )



Hunkpapa Sioux Chief

1835 -1905


As with a number of other Northern Plains leaders who drew their names from natural phenomena, Rain-In-The-Face's name suffers somewhat in translation.

Actually, his Dakota name meant "His face is like a storm".

In 1866, Rain-In-The-Face took part in the destruction of a force led by Captain William Fetterman outside Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming.

During the years of Sioux resistance to the opening of the Bozeman Trail, Rain-In-The-Face led a number of raids.

He settled for a time at the Standing Rock Agency but was accused of murdering a white man and jailed.

A friendly guard freed Rain-In-The-Face, and he joined Sitting Bull, after raiding several Union Pacific Railroad crews.

Rain-In-The_face was one of several Lakota and Cheyenne military leaders who defeated George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry at Little Bighorn in 1876.

After the battle, some reports indicated that Rain-In-The-Face had killed Custer; this assertion was the central theme in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Revenge of Rain-In-The-Face".

Subsequent events, described by historian Stanley Vestal indicate that White Bull, not Rain-In-The-Face, took Custer's life.

Rain-In-The-Face was badly wounded in the Custer battle and walked with a limp the rest of his life.

After joining Sitting Bull's exiles in Canada until 1880, Rain-In-The-Face surrendered to General Nelson Miles at Fort Keough, Montana.

Reservation life did not agree with Rain-In-The-Face.

He was married seven times, and his last wife was found with her throat cut.

Rain-In-The-Face died at Standing Rock and was buried at Aberdeen, South Dakota.