Sacajawea (săk´əjəwē´ə, səkä´–), Sacagawea (–gəwē´ə), or Sakakawea (–kəwē´ə), c.1788–1812?, Native North American woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition, the only woman in 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 and origins. She apparently was a member of the Shoshone, had been captured in a Hidatsa raid and enslaved, and finally was traded to French-Canadian fur trader Toussaint Charbonneau, who referred to her as one of his wives. He was engaged as an interpreter for the expedition, and 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 Hidatsa-Mandan villages. Some historians date Sacajawea's death around 1812 or 1813; others claim that she was discovered by a missionary in 1875 and died in Wyoming in 1884.

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

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Sacajawea: Selected full-text books and articles

Sacagawea: A Biography By April R. Summitt Greenwood, 2008
The Making of Sacagawea: A Euro-American Legend By Donna J. Kessler University of Alabama Press, 1996
Women of the West By Dorothy Gray University of Nebraska Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Sacajawea: The Shadows of History"
She of Myth and Memory : The Remarkable Legend of Sacagawea By McCoy, Ron The World and I, Vol. 17, No. 3, March 2002
Sacagawea's Son as a Symbol By Furtwangler, Albert Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 102, No. 3, Fall 2001
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors By Frances Karttunen Rutgers University Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: "Over the Continental Divide: Sacajawea" begins on p. 23
Essie's Story: The Life and Legacy of a Shoshone Teacher By Esther Burnett Horne; Sally McBeth University of Nebraska Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. One "My Relationship to Sacajawea"
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Women and Western American Literature By Helen Winter Stauffer; Susan J. Rosowski Whitston, 1982
Librarian's tip: "Sacajawea of Myth and History" begins on p. 70
Lewis and Clark among the Indians By James P. Ronda University of Nebraska Press, 1988
Librarian's tip: Appendix "A Note on Sacajawea"
Twenty Thousand Roads: Women, Movement, and the West By Virginia Scharff University of California Press, 2003
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Seeking Sacagawea"
Sifters: Native American Women's Lives By Theda Perdue Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Sacagawea: The Making of a Myth"
Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary By Gretchen M. Bataille; Laurie Lisa Routledge, 2001 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: "Sacagawea" begins on p. 261
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