Ten Bears Quotes in Dances with Wolves (1990)


Ten Bears Quotes:

  • Ten Bears: [in Lakota to Dunbar; subtitled] Dances with Wolves has been quiet these past few days. Is his heart bad?

    John Dunbar: [in Lakota to the village council; subtitled] Killing those soldiers at the river was a good thing. I never got to thank all of you for saving me. I did not mind killing those men. I was glad to do it. But now I know that the soldiers hate me like they hate no other. Because I killed soldiers, men of my own race, they think I am a traitor.

    [the council murmurs and nods in agreement]

    John Dunbar: [in Lakota; subtitled] And now they will hunt for me. And when they find me they will find you. I think it would be wise to move the village to another location right now. As for me... I will be leaving. I will be leaving with my wife Stands With a Fist as soon as possible. I must go and try to talk to those that will listen.

    [shouts and protests immediately begin around the council. Wind In His Hair stands up and screams his objection. Even Kicking Bird is protesting. However, Ten Bears rises both of his hands as a sign to stop]

    Ten Bears: [in Lakota; subtitled] Quiet! You are all hurting my ears! Leave us!

    [all the Sioux file out of the tent, and within seconds Ten Bears and Dunbar are alone]

    Ten Bears: [in Lakota to Dunbar; subtitled] You are the only white man I have ever known. I have thought about you a lot. More than you think. And I understand your concern. But I think you are wrong. The white man the soldiers are looking for no longer exists. Now there is only a Sioux named Dances with Wolves.

  • Ten Bears: [in Lakota; subtitled] Let us smoke a while.

    John Dunbar: [voiceover] With Ten Bears, it was always more than a while. There was purpose in everything he did, and I knew he wanted me to stay. But I was sure of myself. I would be an excuse, and that's all the Army would need to find this place. I pushed him as far as I could to move the camp. But in the end, he only smiled and talked of simple pleasures. He reminded me that at his age, a good fire was better than anything. Ten Bears was an extraordinary man.

  • Kicking Bird: [in Lakota; addressing the village council] He may be a special man or even a god. I ask that Chief Ten Bears give us permission to talk with him.

    [murmurs around the council as Wind in his Hair rises to speak]

    Wind In His Hair: [in Lakota; subtitled] I do not care for this talk about a white man at the soldier fort. Whoever he is he is not a Sioux and that makes him less. We took more then a hundred horses from these people and there was no honor in it. They don't ride well. They don't shoot well. They're dirty. Those so-called "soldiers" could not make it through one winter in our country. And all these people are said to flourish? I think they will all be dead soon... maybe in ten years.

    [murmurs circulate around the council]

    Wind In His Hair: [in Lakota] I think this fool is probally lost.

    [the councel laughs as Wind In His Hair sits back down and Kicking Bird raises his right hand as a call for silence]

    Kicking Bird: [in Lakota; subtitled] Wind In His Hair has spoken and his words are strong. It is true that the whites are a poor race and it is hard to understand them. But make no mistake, the whites are coming. Even our enemies agree on this. But when I see one white man alone and without fear in our country, I do not think he is lost. I think he may have medicine. I think this is a man who will speak for all white people. I think this is a man from which treaties may be struck.

    [the council murmurs and nods in agreement until Wind In His Hair rises to speak again]

    Wind In His Hair: [in Lakota; subtitled] Kicking Bird is always looking ahead and while that is good, he doesn't know this lone white man. This white man cannot hunt, cover our lodges, or feed our children. He is nothing to us! I will take some warriors with me and we will shoot some arrows into the white man. If he truly has medicine, he will not be hurt. If he has no medicine, he will be dead.

    [more murmurs are heard as Wind In His Hair sits back down and Stone Calf rises to speak]

    Stone Calf: [in Lakota; subtitled] No man on the council can tell another man what to do. But killing a white man is a delicate business. If you kill one, more are sure to come.

    Ten Bears: [in Lakota; subtitled] It's easy to become confused by these questions. Before we take action we need to talk about this some more at another time. That is all I have to say. This council is dismissed.

  • [Ten Bears shows Dunbar an old Spanish Conquistador's helmet]

    Ten Bears: [in Lakota; subtitled] The white men who wore this came around the time of my grandfather's grandfather. Eventually we drove them out. Then the Mexicans came. But they do not come here any more. In my own time, the Texans. They have been like all the others. They take without asking. But I think you are right. I think they will keep coming. When I think of that, I look at this helmet. I don't know if we are ready for these people. Our country is all that we have, and we will fight to keep it.

  • Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.

    Josey Wales: That's true. I ain't promising you nothing extra. I'm just giving you life and you're giving me life. And I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another.

    Ten Bears: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life... or death. It shall be life.

  • Josie Wales: You be Ten Bears?

    Ten Bears: I am Ten Bears.

    Josie Wales: I'm Josey Wales.

    Ten Bears: I have heard. You are the grey rider. You would not make peace with the Bluecoats. You may go in peace.

    Josie Wales: I reckon not. I got no place else to go.

    Ten Bears: Then you will die.

    Josie Wales: I came here to die with you. Or to live with you.

  • Ten Bears: Then you will die.

    Josey Wales: I came here to die with you. Or live with you. Dying ain't hard for men like you and me. It's living that's hard when all you've ever cared about has been butchered or raped.

Browse more character quotes from Dances with Wolves (1990)