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Čhaŋnúŋpa (in Standard Lakota Orthography)[1] is the Sioux language name for the sacred, ceremonial pipe and the ceremony in which it is used.[2] It is often spelled imprecisely as Chanunpa, Chanupa, or C'anupa.

Lakota tradition has it that White Buffalo Calf Woman brought the čhaŋnúŋpa to the people, as one of the Seven Sacred Rites, to serve as a sacred bridge between this world and Wakan Tanka, the "Great Mystery".[2][3]

The čhaŋnúŋpa is one means of conveying prayers to the Creator and the other sacred beings. The various parts of the pipe have symbolic meanings, and much of this symbolism is not shared with those outside the culture. While sacred pipes of various designs are used in ceremonies by a number of different Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, čhaŋnúŋpa is specifically the Lakota name for their type of ceremonial pipe and ceremony. Other nations have their own names for their pipes and ceremonies, in their particular indigenous languages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ullrich, Jan. (2008). New Lakota Dictionary. Lakota Language Consortium. ISBN 0-9761082-9-1."
  2. ^ a b Looking Horse, Chief Arvol (March 13, 2003) "Looking Horse Proclamation on the Protection of Ceremonies" at Indian Country Today Media Network
  3. ^ Rice, Julian (1998). Before the great spirit: the many faces of Sioux spirituality. University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0-8263-1868-1.