Body of Spotted Elk, chief of the Miniconjou, Lakota Sioux, lying in snow, after the Massacre at Wounded Knee, photographed by Trager and Kuhn, 1891. Spotted Elk (1826 - December 29, 1890) was a chief of the Miniconjou, Lakota Sioux. He was considered a great man of peace, and was best known among his people for his political and diplomatic successes. During the 1870s, Spotted Elk allied his tribe against the US Army, together with half-brother Sitting Bull, cousin Crazy Horse and brother Touch the Clouds. His tribe suffered during the war, after which they surrendered. He encouraged adaptation to reservation life, and was one of the first to raise corn in accordance with government standards. Due to poor living conditions on the reservations, the Lakota struggled to survive. He and the Lakota became enthusiastic believers in the 'Ghost Dance' ceremony in the spring of 1890, even though governmental reservation rules outlawed the practice of the religion. When Sitting Bull was killed on Standing Rock Reservation, his followers fled for refuge at Spotted Elk's camp. Fearing arrest and government reprisals against his band, Spotted Elk led his band south to the Pine Ridge Reservation, at the invitation of Chief Red Cloud. He contracted pneumonia on the journey, surrendered peacefully and, with his band, was escorted to a campsite near Wounded Knee Creek. On the morning of December 29, 1890, Forsyth's soldiers entered the camp and demanded that the Lakota give up their weapons. A large gun fight quickly ensued and Spotted Elk was among those slain. The US forces killed 153 Lakota, mostly women and children in what became known as the Wounded Knee Massacre.