Wakan Tanka

Wakan ( wak ʰ ɑ ː n ) is a word from the language of the Lakota Indians and means holy, incomprehensible or mysterious. The Lakota call everything incomprehensible as Wakan; they mean the force of the universe that connects everything. From a European perspective Wakan was wrongly understood as " Great Spirit " by Christians as a god and called. Wakan includes both the good and the evil, just as one can assign good and bad qualities of nature. In the opinion of the Plains Indians has every thing and its creatures Wakan, which is unborn and immortal. The entirety of this force called the Lakota Wakan Tanka ( Lakota alphabet: Wak ȟ ȟ t Anka ). People can contact prayers relationship with Wakan Tanka; the whistle is an important tool to do so. Shamans are considered experts of the concept Wakan.


Wakan Tanka can personalize in the form of spirits. Some shamans classify the force in four pairs of spirit beings. This in turn can be assigned to another eight spirits, all of which are each essential part of the next higher. The pairs are: Skan (the sky ) and Tate (the wind ); Wi ( the sun ) and Wi Han (the moon); Inyan (the stone ) and Wakinyan ( of thunder); Maka ( the Earth ) and Whope (the beautiful "White Buffalo Woman ", White Buffalo Woman ). These eight eight more can be added: Tob Kin ( the Four Winds), Yumnikan ( the whirlwind ), Tata Kakan ( the buffalo ), Hunonpakan ( the bear ) and the four spirits Wanagi, Waniya, Nagila and Wasicunpi.

Properties of individual spirit beings

Wi is one of those spirit beings and represents the sun. He is considered omniscient, and as a defender of bravery and loyalty. The bison is particularly close to him as an animal, and is therefore often considered as a manifestation of God.

The daughter of Wi is the beautiful Whope ( White Buffalo Calf Woman ), which is also worshiped as the wife of the South Wind. You came to the earth and brought the Sioux, the symbol of peace, the peace pipe. This pipe will also serve as an intermediary between the people and Wakan Tanka.

Skan is the spirit of heaven and is considered the source of all strength and power. He sent a message to the creator of the world, everything after the number four. In addition, Skan is the Judge of all the gods and souls of men. The ghost path monitors the spirit of the wind, Tate. He allows only the souls that are recognized by Skan worthy. In addition, Tate draws seasons. In the language of the Lakota Skan means: "That which is moving."

Iya is considered demonic monster and embodiment of evil that devours men and animals and causes them harm. The foul breath of the beast brings the diseases and Iya usually appears as a hurricane.

Use of the name in the Christian Church

In the translation of the Bible into the Dakota Santee Sioux in the 19th century Wakantanka was similar Kise - Manito in the Cree and Ojibwe, used as a name for God.