Lakota (Sioux) Indians And Creation Essay

2109 words - 9 pages

The Lakota Indians, are sometimes known as the Sioux, but they call themselves the Lakota, which is translated as ‘friend’ or ‘ally’ in their native tongue. Their description of themselves make sense when looking at their seven virtues that they live by, “These are Wóčhekiye (Prayer), Wóohola (Respect), Wówauŋšila (Compassion), Wówičakȟe (Honesty), Wówačhaŋtognaka (Generosity), Wówaȟwala (Humility) and Wóksape (Wisdom) (“Lakota Today”). A culture’s idea of the most importance qualities a good person should have gives a good idea of what kind of people they are. The Lakota’s virtues all revolve around a general concept of respect for everything, compassion, humility, and honesty. These things can either refer to their fellow man, or everything else in existence. This notion of universal respect comes from their creation story and how the Creator, is in everything.
Jace DeCory says, “If you don’t have that philosophical base… the Lakota base of how we look at the world, then there’s a little bit missing from you as a person (DeCory). The importance of religious identity for the Lakota people is told explicitly here. The creation story and emergence tale later described, are what the Lakota people’s entire religion is based on. All religions begin with how the world came into being, and therefore the story of creation is the birth of their faith. Their story of emergence gives them their identity, it tells where they as a people came from, and how they are to survive and behave.
The Lakota Creation story tells the origin of the world, the living creatures that inhabit it, and the Buffalo people. The story begins with Inyan, the creator, a being so powerful that nothing else could exist but him. Then Inyan separated a part of itself, and compressed it into a blue orb, half of which was hard, and the other half was like Inyan’s blue blood. This orb was called Maka, earth, who lived in total darkness. Maka asked of Inyan what its purpose was, and Inyan used another part of itself to create Wi, the sun, Han Hepiwi, the moon, and Wi Can, the stars, and all these were interconnected. Time passed and Maka asked for a covering from Inyan, as Maka was cold when facing Han Hepiwi, and hot when turned towards Wi. Inyan made a decision with the help of all the other parts of itself, that Maka could have what it asked, but it must agree to bring life and care for the life, Maka accepted. Time again passed, but the life on Maka became dishonorable, and damaging. Maka decided a cleanse was needed, and so Maka produced many different disasters, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, all at the same time. Then the land mass on one half of Maka broke apart, into the continents. More time went by, the world became nefarious again, and Maka had to cleanse once more. Maka told the people who were doing as they should to come inside her, while she again brought catastrophe, this time the Ice Age. Later the ice melted and the water became the rivers, and lakes...

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