Get into the native rhythm of the "Dances with Wolves" quiz!


By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Tig Productions Majestic Films International

About This Quiz

Epic is as epic does! The 1990s ushered many cinematic milestones in global pop culture, and "Dances with Wolves" is one of those honored flicks that came out in 1990. Think you can tap to the tune of this epic? Then take this quiz and find out!

Which popular '90s Hollywood leading man starred in "Dances with Wolves"?

Kevin Costner is the lead actor in Dances with Wolves. He's also the film's director and co-producer.


Since this film takes place during the 1860s and features cowboy and Indian characters, in which film genre does it belong?

"Dances with Wolves" jumpstarted the Hollywood revival of the western film when it came out. Because of its popularity, Hollywood traveled back to the old west to make more stories for the cinema.


Kevin Costner played Lieutenant John Dunbar in this film. What is Dunbar's occupation?

Lt. John Dunbar is part of the US military. He is a very dutiful but also a conscientious soldier.


The opens with a scene in the middle of a battle. During which war was this battle -- and the film's story -- taking place?

"Dances with Wolves" is set during the American Civil War. John Dunbar is a Union Army officer fighting against the Confederate Army.


John Dunbar limped back into the battle at the beginning because he didn't want the doctors to amputate his damaged leg. From where did he escape to avoid amputation?

A wounded John Dunbar tried to walk away from the army hospital when he heard two doctors planning to amputate his leg. That prompted him to immediately go back to the battleground.


John Dunbar accidentally solved the Union and Confederate battle standoff by riding closely in front of the enemy line, triggering the fighting and ending it. What did he mount to make that death-defying ride?

John Dunbar wanted to die with the damaged foot, so he rode a horse and galloped in front of the Confederate soldiers, who couldn't seem to hit him with their shots. The Union soldiers were emboldened by this, so they followed his lead and charged -- winning the day, and saving Dunbar from death.


Because of his accidental heroism during the battle standoff, John Dunbar can choose where he wants to be posted next. Where did he want to be reassigned?

The American military was advancing to unchartered territories during that era. The frontier is said to be the final area they have yet to conquer, so Dunbar wants to see it before it disappears.


During his early post at the frontier, John Dunbar recorded his thoughts and observations via this method.

Dunbar dutifully writes down all his observations and thoughts in a diary. Sometimes he also sketches a few drawings of things or people he observes.


In traveling towards the frontier, what did John Dunbar ride?

John Dunbar went with an unkempt driver of a wagon that makes trips for the army. He also carried provisions for the officer.


Aside from wanting to see the frontier for the first time, what four-legged animal did John Dunbar wanted to see immediately?

John Dunbar is fascinated with what the frontier could offer. He hasn't seen a buffalo in his life, so he wants to see one there.


"Dances with Wolves" is mainly about this Union Army officer who slowly befriends and blends with Native Americans. Which kind of tribe does he befriend?

John Dunbar encounters Indians from the Sioux Nation during his post at the frontier. They are part of the Plains Indians who opposed being "occupied by the white man."


No one knows where John Dunbar was posted in the frontier, only the wagon driver who took him there, who never got a chance to report back to the army. What happened to this driver?

The wagon driver is the only one who knew where Dunbar was posted, but he was killed by Pawnee Indians​ on his way back. So no one knows where Dunbar is, much less to send troops with him there.


The Sioux Nation was depicted in the film as being at odds against another tribe, enough for them to go to war. Which was this tribe?

The Pawnee is another plains tribe, like the Sioux. Some experts criticized this film, though, for depicting the Pawnee as barbaric, as they said it's the Sioux who are like that. But the film is still hailed for bringing the issues of Native Americans to the mainstream.


What did John Dunbar name the milky white-pawed wolf he befriended in his outpost?

Two Socks is the playful wolf Dunbar slowly befriended in the outpost. The wild animal eventually learned how to eat from the hand of his human friend.


The first curious Sioux Indian John Dunbar meets carries the name of an animal. What is his name?

Kicking Bird was played by Graham Greene. He is a Native American from the Oneida people in Canada.


Kicking Bird holds an important post in his tribe. What is his position?

Kicking Bird is considered a holy man in the tribe. He is a medicine man, but not solely treating the physically wounded.


​First at odds with John Dunbar, this defiant long-haired warrior later becomes his friend. What is his name?

Wind in His Hair is the long-haired warrior who is not afraid to show Dunbar his courage and defiance against the white man. Things later cool down and they become buddies.


John Dunbar later discovers a non-Indian woman living with the Sioux people. What is her race?

Dunbar chanced upon a woman trying to hurt herself. While she is dressed like the Indians and is from their tribe, she is white.


The white woman adapted by the Sioux is named Stands with a ___, since she defiantly punched a bigger woman who used to bully her.

Stands with a Fist is the white woman adopted by the Sioux tribe when she was a child. She eventually lived among them, since her family was massacred by Pawnees.


When the Sioux people discovered the buffalo herd, what did they do with it?

The Plains Indians were primarily nomadic and hunters. They hunted buffalo a lot, which were very commonly found there.


While John Dunbar had a pistol and a rifle, the Sioux mainly fought and hunted using this weapon.

Indians always carry a bow and arrow as a weapon. But it is also used for hunting.


Aside from carrying bows and arrows, what fast-traveling weapon — if thrown — did the Sioux hunters and warriors carry with them?

Indians also carry long or short spears when they hunt. It's useful to knock down buffalos, since it only takes one spear, instead of many arrows.


Kicking Bird badly wants to communicate with John Dunbar, but they have this huge gap that hinders them. What is it?

Kicking Bird was frustrated with the language barrier he had with the American army officer. So they tried​ nonverbal gestures to communicate.


Since Stands with a Fist still remembers English words from her youth, Kicking Bird used her to help communicate with John Dunbar. What role did she serve for the two men?

Stands with a Fist still remembers the "white language" as they called it. She served as a valuable interpreter between the two men.


When Kicking Bird and his fellow tribesmen sat down with John Dunbar to talk, the Union Army officer served them some drinks. What kind of brew did he serve the Sioux?

John Dunbar served coffee to his guests. He showed them how to grind coffee beans manually.


As John Dunbar introduced the Sioux to coffee, he also added something that made them smile. What was it?

Wind in His Hair was particularly happy about tasting sugar for the first time. So he sprinkled some to his coffee a​nd urged the others to do the same.


John Dunbar was starting to fall in love with Stand with a Fist, but they couldn’t make their affair public at the beginning since she was supposedly still doing this after her Sioux husband’s death. What was she doing?

Stands with a Fist is in mourning so she can't entertain any kind of replacement for her dead husband yet. But just how long will this mourning last is a bit unclear.


The head of the Sioux tribe is named Ten Bears. What is his leadership designation?

Chief Ten Bears is the head of the Sioux tribe that befriended John Dunbar. A chief is considered the wisest and is the most respected elder of the community.


When scoping the buffalo herd, John Dunbar used this device which impressed the Sioux a lot, since it helps them see things closer. What was it?

Dunbar had a small telescope useful enough in any situation. It was also portable.


Kicking Bird was eager to communicate with John Dunbar because he wanted to know one thing. What was his primary concern?

Kicking Bird is curious to know if more white men will come. He wanted to communicate and maybe have a treaty with Dunbar to fend off being invaded.


When the tribe was planning to move to their winter camp area, John Dunbar went back to his old fort to retrieve his diary. But he found new people occupying his deserted post. Which people did he find there?

Fort Sedgewick was once again occupied by new soldiers from the US Army. They mistook Dunbar for an Indian and shot at him, beat him up and killed his trusted horse.


When he encountered US Army troops in his formerly deserted fort, John Dunbar was seen as a hostile person and got arrested. What are the soldiers labeling their former ally?

The US Army soldiers that Dunbar encountered are now labeling him as a traitor because he is sympathetic to the tribe. They send him to a fort to be charged with desertion.


When Kicking Bird sensed that Dunbar was​ in trouble, what did the warriors do?

The Sioux warriors monitored where Dunbar was, and staged a rescue mission to get him back. They killed all the US Army officers in the process.


Sensing that the US Army will search for him, which will lead to them discovering the Indians, what did John Dunbar decide to do?

Dunbar, now married to Stands with a Fist, decided to just leave the tribe so they'll never be found by the US Army. Stands with a Fist went with him, and the tribe elders understood.


Before leaving the tribe, Kicking Bird and Wind in his Hair showed John Dunbar how much had changed in their personal relations. How do they now consider each other?

John Dunbar felt that he was now a part of the Sioux people. Chief Ten Bears treats him as part of the warriors, Kicking Bird treats him as part of the family since he married Stands with a Fist, and Wind in his Hair treats him as his dearest friend.


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