Sacajawea (săk´əjəwē´ə, səkä´–), Sacagawea (–gəwē´ə), or Sakakawea (–kəwē´ə), c.1784–1884?, Native North American woman guide on the Lewis and Clark expedition and the only woman to accompany the party. She is generally called the Bird Woman in English, although this translation has been challenged, and there has been much dispute about the form of her Native American name. She was a member of the Shoshone, had been captured and sold to a Mandan, and finally was traded to Toussaint Charbonneau, one of whose wives she became. He was interpreter for the expedition. She proved invaluable as a guide and interpreter when Lewis and Clark reached the upper Missouri River and the mountains from which she had come. On the return journey she and Charbonneau left (1806) the expedition at the Mandan villages. While some historians date Sacajawea's death around 1812, there are others who claim that she was discovered by a missionary in 1875 and that she actually died in Wyoming in 1884.

See biography by H. P. Howard (1971).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Sacajawea: Selected full-text books and articles

The Making of Sacagawea: A Euro-American Legend
Donna J. Kessler.
University of Alabama Press, 1996
Women of the West
Dorothy Gray.
University of Nebraska Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Sacajawea: The Shadows of History"
Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors
Frances Karttunen.
Rutgers University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Over the Continental Divide: Sacajawea" begins on p. 23
Women and Western American Literature
Helen Winter Stauffer; Susan J. Rosowski.
Whitston, 1982
Librarian’s tip: "Sacajawea of Myth and History" begins on p. 70
Interpreters with Lewis and Clark: The Story of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau
W. Dale Nelson.
University of North Texas Press, 2003
Lewis and Clark among the Indians
James P. Ronda.
University of Nebraska Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Appendix "A Note on Sacajawea"
Twenty Thousand Roads: Women, Movement, and the West
Virginia Scharff.
University of California Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Seeking Sacagawea"
Sifters: Native American Women's Lives
Theda Perdue.
Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Sacagawea: The Making of a Myth"
Lewis & Clark: Legacies, Memories, and New Perspectives
Kris Fresonke; Mark Spence.
University of California Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Sacgawea's Legacy and Women's History" begins on p. 244
Essie's Story: The Life and Legacy of a Shoshone Teacher
Esther Burnett Horne; Sally McBeth.
University of Nebraska Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. One "My Relationship to Sacajawea"
Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary
Gretchen M. Bataille; Laurie Lisa.
Routledge, 2001 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Sacagawea" begins on p. 261
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