Spirit Road Mysteries

Glossary

A reference for Lakota Language terms featured in Spirit Road Mysteries.



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A


B

Bloka
Masculinity. For example, the buffalo is thought to possess bloka.

C

Chankpe Opi Wakpala
Wounded Knee Creek.

E


G


H

Hanblecheyapi
Literally “cried for a vision.” Young men and sometimes women entering puberty would partake in this ritual whereby they would go somewhere alone and fast, praying for a vision, after which they would enter a inipi and be guided by a sacred man as they sought their vision unique to them.

Hankasi
Male-to-female greeting.

Hau
Greeting by a man, similar to "hi."

Hiakigle
The teeth clenching together in death, often resembling a grimace.

I

Inipi
Sweat lodge used in purification ceremonies.

J


K

Kola
A special friend. Originally, one who would die for another. Nowdays, one often hears another address a friend as “kola”, without regard of the historical context.

L


M

Misun
Younger brother.

N

Nige Tanka
The “Big Bellies.” Wise old men.

O


P

Peji wacanga
Sweetgrass, used in many Lakota ceremonies.

S

Sic esi
Female-to-make greeting.

T

Tiospaye
Basic family group of the Lakota.

U

Unsimalaye
“Pity me.”

W

Wakan Tanka
The Great Mysterious. Maker of all things.

Wanagi
Spirit.

Wanagi Tacanku
Spirit Road.

Wanagi Yuhapi
Ghost Keeping Ceremony. Ritually feeding of a person’s ghost, usually for a period of one year, before setting it free.

Wayuonihan
Honor.

Wicasa Wakan
Holy Man.

Wicasa Yantanpi
The “Shirt Wearers” of old. Respected men.

Wopiye
Medicine bundle. The leather bundle, often beaded, contains anything the keeper of the bundle believes has spiritual value to him or her, including seeds, rocks, arrowheads, tobacco, teeth, hair, rocks, claws.

Y

Yuwipi
A holy person distinguished from other holy people by his or her conduction of the yuwipi cermeony. The yuwipi man is tied with blankets and ropes while he prays for the healing of the person afflicted. It is hard on the Yuwipi man to conduct this ceremony.

Z