Wašíču is the Lakota and Dakota (known collectively as the Sioux) word for people of non-indigenous descent, with derogatory connotations. It expresses the native population's perception of the non-Natives' relationship with the land and the native population. Typically it refers to white people, but does not specifically mention skin color or race. The term "black wasichu" has been historically used to describe a person of African descent, and a Native American who adopted non-Native ways could "make himself over into a wasichu."
"Wasicun" means non-Indian. The Lakota word for "taking the fat" (wašin icu) is spelled and pronounced similarly, and it is used by natives in puns to refer to non-Natives who collectively rob tribes of their resources.
In popular culture
- Setting the Record Straight About Native Languages: Wasichu. Native Languages of the Americas. (retrieved 23 Jan 2011)
- Simcikova, 88
- Staub 62
- LaFontaine and McKay, 145
- "Wasichu (#5.14)." Internet Movie Database. (retrieved 23 Jan 2011)
- "New Orleans and Louisiana Bands and Performers." NOLA DIY. (retrieved 23 Jan 2011)
- LaFontaine, Harlan and Neil McKay. 550 Dakota Verbs. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-87351-524-5.
- Simcikova, Karla. To live fully, here and now: the healing vision in the works of Alice Walker. Lexington Books, 2006. ISBN 978-0-7391-1160-4.
- Staub, Michael E. Voices of Persuasion: Politics of Representation in 1930s America. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press, 1994. ISBN 0-521-45390-9.