List of Lakota mythological figures

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Below is a list of commonly recognized figures who are part of Lakota mythology, a Native American tribe of East and West Dakota. The spiritual entities of Lakota mythology are categorized in several major categories, including major deities, wind spirits, personified concepts, and other beings.


Major deities[edit]

  • Anog Ite- The two-faced Spirit referred to as mother of the Four Winds, Yum the Whirlwind, and the daughter of the Pejuta (Medicine Men) Ka and Wa. She is also known as Wakanka, the elderly woman[1].
  • Anpao - The spirit of the dawn, an entity with two faces.
  • Capa - The beaver Spirit of labor and taxes.
  • Cetan - The hawk spirit of the east.
  • Han - The ancient spirit of darkness; banished to be under Maka.
  • Hanwi - The moon Spirit who accompanies Wi. Also known as Hanhepi Wi (Nighttime Wi) to differentiate her from Wi. She is also the Spirit of mother hood, constancy, kinship, and feminine things.
  • Hunomp - The bipedal bear Spirit of wisdom. After Iktomi was made the trickster and he forfeited his position as the Spirit of wisdom, he became the lower Spirit of wisdom.[1]
  • Iktomi - The spider trickster spirit and son of Inyan.
  • Inyan - The primordial creator Spirit. His color is yellow.[1]
  • Ite - The wife of the wind Spirit Tate.[1]
  • Iya - The destructive storm monster of the north and brother to Iktomi. Also known as Ibom, the cyclone.[1]
  • Kssa - The Spirit of knowledge and wisdom. He invented language,[1] stories, names, games, and the first lodge, in which fire from Wi was placed at the center.[2] One story about Iktomi mentions that Iktomi was Kssa, but was stripped of his title for his trouble-making ways. The Oglala Lakota believe that Iktomi was the second manifestation, or degeneration, of Ksa, who hatched from the cosmic egg laid by Wakinyan. He is the enemy of Unk.[1]
  • Makȟá-akáŋl, or Maka - The earth Spirit created by Inyan as his lover. Her color is green.[1]
  • Skan - The motion of the universe. His color is blue.[1]
  • Ta Tanka (Great Beast) - The male buffalo spirit of plenty. Enemy of Mica.
  • Tate - The wind Spirit.
  • Untunktahe - The water Spirit.
  • Wakan Tanka - The Great Spirit.
  • Wakinyan - Thunder Spirits. Wakinyan is believed to be a bird.
  • Wanim - The four elder sons of Tate who oversee the cardinal directions, the four winds, health, the weather, and fertility. They can be combined into a single figure.
  • Waukheon - The Thunderbird.
  • Whope - The Spirit of peace and the wife of the south wind Okaga.
  • Wi - The solar spirit of bison. Also known as Anpetu Wi (Daytime Wi) to differentiate him from Hanwi, who is also known as Wi. He is also the Spirit of bravery, constancy, endurance, fortitude, honesty, reliance, and contests. His color is red.[1]
  • Wiyohipeyata - Wind Spirit of the west who oversees endings and nighttime occurrences.
  • Wiyohiyanpa - Wind God of the east who oversees beginnings and daytime occurrences.
  • Yum - A whirlwind Spirit, child of Anog Ite. He is the Spirit of love.[1]

Wind spirits[edit]

  • Ite - Wife of the wind Spirit Tate.
  • Okaga - Fertility spirit of the south winds.
  • Tate - The wind Spirit.
  • Taku Skanskan - Capricious chaotic spirit who is master of the four winds and the four-night spirits, Raven, Vulture, Wolf, Fox.
  • Wani - The four elder sons of Tate who oversee the cardinal directions, the four winds, health, the weather, and fertility. They can be combined into a single figure.
  • Wiyohipeyata - The wind Spirit of the west who oversees endings and nighttime occurrences.
  • Wiyohiyanpa - The wind Spirit of the east who oversees beginnings and daytime occurrences.
  • Yanpa - The east wind.[1]
  • Yata - The north wind.[1]
  • Yum - A whirlwind Spirit, child of Anog Ite. He is the Spirit of love.[1]

Personified concepts[edit]

  • Capa - Beaver Spirit of labour.
  • Cetan - Hawk Spirit of the east.
  • Etu - The personification of time.[1]
  • Hehaka - The male Elk Spirit of sexuality.
  • Hnaska - The Frog Spirit of Holy Medicine.
  • Hogan - The purifying Fish Spirit of water.
  • Hunomp - The bipedal Bear Spirit of wisdom. He became the lower Spirit of wisdom after Iktomi forfeited his position as the Spirit of wisdom on being made the trickster.[1]
  • Iktomi - The Spider Spirit of Deception and Lies. The son of Inyan.
  • Keya - Turtle Spirit of health, safety, and healing rituals.
  • Mato - Mischievous healer Bear Spirit of passionate emotions.
  • Mica - Trickster Coyote Spirit.
  • Sungmanito - Wolf Spirit of hunting and war.
  • Sunka - Dog Spirit of companionship and faithfulness.
  • Ta Tanka (Great Beast) - The male Buffalo spirit of plenty. Enemy of Mica.
  • Tatankan Gnaskiyan (Crazy Buffalo) - The malevolent spirit who wreaks havoc on love affairs, causing feuds, murders, and suicides.
  • Unk (Contention) - Maka's companion who causes quarrels and is banished to the depths of the waters for her actions. She is Iya's and Gnaski's mother, nonetheless she is the progenitor of all evil things. She is the enemy of Ksa.[1]
  • Wambli - Eagle Spirit of councils, hunting skills, and battle.
  • Woohpe - Spirit of amity, beauty, compassion, and happiness. She moves among oppositions to create harmony.[1]
  • Yuwipi - The healing ceremony.
  • Zuzeca - Snake Spirit of hidden things, concealed knowledge, and outright lies.

Other beings[edit]

  • Canotila - Forest-dwelling beings.
  • Gnaski - An evil spirit who manages to outwit and perfectly mimic Ksa to the point that he and Ksa were indistinguishable from each other, earning him the name "Ksapela", or "little wisdom". He is the child of Iya and Unk.
  • Hihankara (Owl-Maker) - The aged Spirit who stands upon the entrance to the Milky Way, admitting the nagi who show her the proper tattoos. Those who fail her test will be liberated from existence, where their memory and spirit will fade without honor.
  • Iktinike - The son of the Sun Spirit Wi, who was banished to Earth for telling lies.
  • Nagi - A Spirit that has never had a mortal tether to this world, it is connected to all that the Creator has gifted in life(Like the Elements, Animals and Humans.) Some Nagi "Feed" on the emotions of mankind and thus have the significant impact of either Benevolent or Malevolent natures based on the emotions that sustain them the easiest (Spirits that are "Evil" usually are attracted to humans with Anger, Wrath, Revenge, Sorrow or Sadness in their hearts and those that are "Good" attracted to Joy, Happiness, Love and Harmony.) Because they were not blessed by the Creator with a corporeal vessel, they have a difficult time showing themselves. This leads to some Spirits taking on the appearance of an anthropomorphic Animal, an Elemental figure, an incomplete Human or a monstrous Human figure.
  • Pte Oyate - The Buffalo people. They were created by Skan to conduct the will of Wakan Takan.[1]
  • Unk Cekula - A Reptilian monster that wreaked havoc on the Plains and the Black Hills was slain by a warrior with medicine arrows.
  • Unktehi - A race of spirits that resemble giant ruminants with long tails. Male unktehis live within water, while female unktehis live on land. They are often regarded as being dangerous or malevolent, as they contaminate water sources and cause floods. However, they can teach in the proper method of ceremonial body painting.
  • Waziya (Blower From Snow Pines) - A Giant who guarded the entrance to the place of the Aurora Borealis. He fights against the south winds with his cold, icy breath. He also brings famine and diseases.[3]
  • Wakanpi - Spirits or divinities.
  • Wamaka Nagi - Souls of animals, especially of domesticated types such as dogs or horses.They accompany their owners as they go to the Milky Way in the afterlife.
  • Wanagi - Spirits of departed human beings. They ascend to the Milky Way to be judged by Hihankara, who tosses those without proper tattoos to be removed from existence. Living souls are known as Woniya.
  • Wani - The four elder sons of Tate who oversee the cardinal directions, the four winds, health, the weather, and fertility. They can be combined into a single figure.
  • Wi Can - Star people.[1]
  • Wo Nagi - Spiritual essence of food. Lakota's have to give due reverence and gratitude to their provisions, to ensure that the Wakanpi will not be upset.

Notable people[edit]

  • Fallen Star - A young warrior whose father was a star and whose mother was a human. He retrieved and returned the disembodied arm of a selfish chief (represented by the lower half of the constellation Orion), and was rewarded by marrying the chief's daughter.[4]
  • Heyoka - The contrarian who has visions of Waukheon.
  • Ka - The first woman, who was banished to earth as a witch with her husband Wa for helping their daughter Anog Ite supplant Hanwi.
  • Tokahe - The first man to emerge from the underworld.
  • Wa - The first man, banished to earth as the wizard Wazi with his wife Ka for helping their daughter Anog Ite to supplant Hanwi. Like his wife, he helps whomever he chooses.
  • White Buffalo Calf Woman - The prophetess who taught the Lakota to practice the Seven Sacred Rites.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Lakota Gods
  2. ^ HOMELAND - The Lakota ways
  3. ^ Native American Mythology A to Z
  4. ^ "Windows to the Universe". Retrieved January 13, 2017.

External links[edit]