Great Spirit

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For other uses, see Great Spirit (disambiguation).
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Anthropology of religion
Appeal to the Great Spirit, Boston MFA - IMG 3401.JPG
"Appeal to the Great Spirit," statue by Cyrus Dallin before the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Social and cultural anthropology

The Great Spirit, called Wakan Tanka among the Sioux [1] and Gitche Manitou in Algonquian, is a conception of universal spiritual force, or supreme being prevalent among some Native American and First Nation cultures.[2] According to Lakota activist Russell Means a better translation of Wakan Tanka is the Great Mystery.[3]


  1. ^ Ostler, Jeffry. The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee. Cambridge University Press, Jul 5, 2004. ISBN 0521605903, pg 26.
  2. ^ Thomas, Robert Murray. Manitou and God: North-American Indian Religions and Christian Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. ISBN 0313347794 pg 35.
  3. ^ Means, Robert. Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means. Macmillan, 1995. ISBN 0312147619 pg 241.