Native American chief Sitting Bull's living great-grandson identified using a lock of hair

SITTING Bull’s great-grandson has been positively identified using a lock of the Native American chief’s hair.

Scientists extracted DNA from the 2in snipping and matched it to author Ernie Lapointe.


Sitting Bull famously led the Sioux tribe to victory in the bloody Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, destroying US General Custer’s forces.

Ernie, 73, of Rapid City, South Dakota, had long claimed to be a living relative but some historians doubted him.

Professor Eske Willerslev, of Cambridge University, said: “Sitting Bull is my hero, I admire his courage and drive.

“I wrote to Lapointe and explained that I specialised in the analysis of ancient DNA, and I would consider it a great honour if I could be allowed to look into his case.

"We managed to locate sufficient amounts of DNA in Sitting Bull’s hair sample, and compare it to a sample from Ernie and it matched.”

Ancient DNA is difficult to extract as it degrades over time. But the team at Cambridge think the new method could be used to solve old crimes.

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