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Weyekin or wyakin /ˈwjəkɪn/ is a Nez Perce word for a type of spiritual being.[1]

According to Lucullus Virgil McWhorter, everything in the world - animals, trees, rocks, etc. - possesses a consciousness.[1] These spirits are thought to offer a link to the invisible world of spiritual power.[2] These spirits are seen not as divine beings, but as mediators.[1]

To receive a weyekin, a young person around the age of 12 to 15 would go to the mountains on a vision quest.[2] The person about to go on this quest would be tutored by a "renowned warrior, hunter, or medicine man," for boys, or for girls, "an elderly woman of reputed power."[1] Success had much to do with how they prepared their minds. Fasting for long periods of time, going without a fire, holding their spiritual retreat in a remote and "awe inspiring" location.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e McWhorter, Lucullus Virgil (1940). Yellow Wolf: His Own Story. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, Ltd. pp. 295–300, 521.
  2. ^ a b J. M. Cornelison. "Obtaining the Weyekin". The Indian Country, 1800: A Brilliant Plan for Living. Newberry Library. Retrieved 17 January 2010.