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A dream of a Wakíŋyaŋ, drawing by Black Hawk (Sans Arc Lakota (ca. 1832–ca. 1890), Ledger art, ca.1880

Wakíŋyaŋ is a Lakota word for "thunder."

The word is usually translated as "Thunder Spirits", "Thunder Beings," or "Thunder Birds". [1] Heyokas, that is contrarians, dream of Wakinyan and can burn cedar (Juniperus scopulorum) to protect themselves from thunder and lightning, since Wakinyan respects and will not harm that tree.[2]


  1. ^ Legendary Native American Figures: Thunderer (Wakinyan)
  2. ^ Tyon, Thomas (1991). Walker, James R., ed. Lakota Belief and Ritual. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. p. 155.