Burnt Thighs

“The word Brulé, which is a French word, means ‘sun-burnt’ ; it was derived from the Indian name which in the Indian tongue meant ‘burnt-thighs.’ Their thighs exposed to the sun were sunburned in their constant riding on horseback. The words meant more than at first appeared; for, Indians who walked on the ground did not get their thighs burned more than other parts, especially as the Indians went practically naked when the sun was hot. Hence the words ‘burnt-thighs’ meant that the Brule Indians were riders; that they belonged to the cavalry, that is, the Chivalry ; in other words, they were of the equestrian class. The words constituted a boast that they were better than others and were the Rough-Riders of the plains. Such was the tradition of the name.”